470 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
For Christmas Day
A thoughtful wit once said that the way to be happy is "to do as you please, and have done what you ought." So, the social pleasures of Christmas Day will not have their fullest flavour unless the religious claims of the day are allowed.
"At Christmas be merrie—and thankful withal"; so a service in commemoration of the first Christmas, and the recognition of the meaning to us, are the first of our duties.
The walk or drive to church through the keen frosty air—brightening to the spirits and making one feel thoroughly and delightfully alive—is just the preparation for the appreciation of the Christmas anthems with their notes of triumphant gladness.
If we also have done our part in giving the poor a share in the plenty and pleasure which we enjoy, we shall begin to think it worth while to do good for the pure luxury of the feeling!
At luncheon it adds to the interest of the meal to have old Christmas dishes form part of the menu. One "Fromenty" was made of wheat-cakes boiled in milk, spiced and sugared, with raisins and a dash of wine.
After luncheon some may care for sleighing or skating, others for out-of-door games.
The rural sports at Christmas time in England were chiefly confined to the yeoman class, while the great folk formed the audience. Contests in climbing a greased pole—a prize awaiting the most successful at its top; catching a greased pig, three-legged races, etc., were among the sports that they enjoyed heartily and vigorously.
As the tenantry on our estates are presumably con*