The Real Father Christmas
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Father Christmas in “Round About Our Coal Fire

Now up with your caps ye merry people ring out from the musical bells a frolicsome peal heap the Yule logs upon the hearth and see that the blaze be worthy of the time shout as only jovial Britons can shout and welcome in that hoarie headed man of great years and as white as snow “Father Christmas”. Never was old age so honoured as it is in him our friend of many years. Never was triumphant hero King returning crowned with victories from red fields of fight so heartily welcomed. Who disputes his sovereign rule. A stone hearted thick headed rough skinned grumbler may here and there mouth silly against his revels but let him do so in obscure nooks and secret corners or full upon his graceless head will we pour out the vials of our honest wrath.

Do not mistake our coming guest good friends. He is not like Falstaff a reverend vice a grave iniquity vanity in years good but to taste sack and drink it but a good portly man of a cheerful look a pleasing eye and a most noble carriage who in his time hath kept the best of company and made merry in the halls of Kings yet scorneth not to drink the brown beer and carve the brave sirloin in humble homesteads.. Oh a right merry true hearted open handed friend is this “Old Father Christmas”. Throw wide your doors we pray you and usher him in with a genial brow. He wears a rare crown of holly and mistletoe and is graced as you may see with a most venerable beard. His robes are wrought of costly furs and he stays his steps with a stout staff of good British oak. What a loveable jovial bland sweet face is his. It invites to mirth and yet represses disorder pleases while it awes inspires and yet commands. Throw wide your doors we pray you and let his motley followers enter.....

All you that to feasting and mirth are inclined
Come here is good news for to pleasure your mind
Old Christmas is come for to keep open house
He scorns to be guilty of starving a mouse
Then come boys and welcome for diet the chief
Plum pudding goose capon minced pies and roast beef

Or you may greet him in the words of an old poet -

Now now is come our joyful'st feast
Let every man be jolly Each room with ivy leaves is dressed
And every post with holly Though some churls at our mirth repine
Bound your foreheads garlands twine
Drown sorrow in a cup of wine
And let us all be merry.

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