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    South Australia - The Colony

    Christmas in South Australia

    Also see South Australia - Miscellany - Leisure & Allied Matters.

    Christmas Experiences in South Australia

    (Taken from Geoffrey H. Manning's A Colonial Experience)


    As I attempt to add to reminiscences of my life in South Australia I ponder as to what I can record that will be of interest to posterity surrounding the celebration of Christmas in South Australia. I do not profess that my recollections in respect of family diversions, except on rare occasions, will be of general interest but, from the recall of many friends, newspaper reports, interposed with a personal comment or two, I offer the following recollections in anecdotal fashion gleaned from such sources.

    Christmas Thoughts of an 1837 Settler

    Recently it was my privilege to have access to the reminiscences of a colonist of 1837 and I precis his 'Christmas thoughts' and yearnings for and love of 'home': 'While recalling friends and opportunities misused, and pleasant scenes of eastern country life, I most loved to dwell upon the Christmas time of dear old England.

    'In our hot summer of Australian December, when the great river that divided and bounded my pastures dowelled to a string of pools, and my cattle were panting around - at the quiet hour of evening, when the stars, shining with a brilliance unknown in northern climes, realised the idea of the blessed night when the Star of Bethlehem startled and guided the kings of the eastern world on their pious pilgrimage - my thoughts travelled across the sea to England.

    'I did not feel the sultry heat, or hear the cry of the night bird, or the howl of the dingo. I was across the sea with the Christian revellers. I saw the gay, flushed faces of my kindred and friends shining round the Christmas table; the grace was said, the toast went around. I heard my own name mentioned and the gay faces grew sad. Then I awoke from my dream and found myself alone.

    'But in a life of action there is no time for useless grieving, though time enough for reflection and resolution. Therefore, after visions like these, I resolved the time should come when, on a Christmas day, the toast "To absent friends" should be answered by the Australian himself. The time did come - the very first year of the half-century. Earnest labour and sober economy had prospered with me. The rich district in which I was one of the earliest pioneers had become settled and pacified as far as the river ran; the wild [Aborigines] had grown into the tame blanket-clothed dependents of the settlers.

    'Thousands of fine-woolled flocks upon the hills and cattle upon the rich flats were mine; the bark hut had changed into a verandahed cottage, where books and pictures formed no insignificant part of the furniture; neighbours were within a ride; the voices of children often floated sweetly along the waters of the river.

    'Then I said to myself, I can return now. Not to remain: for the land I have conquered from the wilderness shall be my home for life; but I will return to press the hands that have longed for many years to press mine; to kiss away the tears that dear elder sisters shed when they think of me, once almost an outcast; to take upon my knees those little ones who have been taught to pray for "their uncle in a far land across the broad, deep sea".

    'Perhaps I had thought of winning some rosy English face and true English heart to share my pastoral home. I did return and trod again the shores of my mother country. My boyish expectations had not been realised, but better hopes had. I was not returning laden with treasures, to rival the objects of my foolish youthful vanity, but I was returning a thankful, grateful, contented independent, to look around once more on my native land and then return to settle in the land of my adoption.'

    A Potpourri of Long Gone Christmas Days

    The first 'public holiday' recorded in South Australia was on Christmas Day 1827 and was celebrated by Captain Gould of the Dryad at Boston Bay, Port Lincoln. As kangaroos and fish were plentiful, he and the ship's crew doubtless enjoyed the occasion. In another chapter I have recounted the events of Christmas Day in 1836.

    The day was fine in 1838; Christmas Eve of 1840 had a hot wind, followed by a cool breeze and fine weather, while 1842 was piping hot. Christmas Day, 1847, was spent by Bishop Short in the good ship Derwent, becalmed at the entrance of Spencer Gulf; the Christmas services on board were hearty, there being 15 communicants and the hymns rang out over the still waters.

    In June 1849 a young man in his early twenties arrived in South Australia and recalled his first Christmas: 'On board the vessel I came out in was a family of four. They all hailed from London and the wife had the true Cockney pale face with strong black eyes. Three months after our arrival the family, having rented and furnished a house, invited me to be a boarder. There were eight of us in all and a more pleasant gathering could not be met with.

    'As Christmas approached a council of war was held, when it was resolved unanimously to keep it up in the old English style, so that the words of the old song "O, the roast beef of old England" would be appropriate. The usual preparations for the feast were made and caused intense perspiration, of course.

    'When the eventful day arrived, from early morning a fierce hot wind was blowing, bringing in its course clouds of dust. The windows of the house, as also the doors, were hermetically sealed, and yet, despite all the precautions, when the roast beef and plum pudding were placed upon the table, "groaning", as novelists would say, "under its weight", the good things were practically inedible, unless the proverbial peck of dirt was also absorbed. So it had to be abandoned to the waste tub and all the labour and sufferings of the cooks were entirely lost.

    'About five o'clock a southerly buster set in and as soon as its fury had been expended, a welcome, simple tea was enjoyed, after which I and one of the boys went out for a stroll. A gentle balmy breeze was blowing and the moon was full. We wended our way to the police paddock at the top of Rundle Street, then a real forest, now the site of the beautiful Botanic Gardens.

    'We entered a public house for the purpose of obtaining a refresher, when my chum noticed two men standing at the end of the bar. He said, "There is one of our shipmates; I will go and speak to them", and then ensued my first surprise at a man denying his identity (to be often repeated). This individual, on being spoken to by name, indignantly denied that he had ever met my chum, who came back to me perfectly crestfallen... And so as Pepys would say, "Home to bed", and thus ended in peace and quietness my first Christmas day in South Australia.'

    A Trip in the Eleanor

    Following family Christmas celebrations in 1864, on Boxing Day we caught the 11.15 am train from Adelaide, which consisted of 13 passenger carriages crammed with 600 holiday-makers, to Port Adelaide where we embarked on the steamer, Eleanor, and departed on an excursion down the creek and St Vincent Gulf to Glenelg. The wind blew somewhat stiffly, but the trip was one of unalloyed joy. We met the schooner Daphne and the Omeo, both of which crossed our bows under full sail and the usual salute was given and returned.

    Soon after a gipsy party was descried encamped upon Lefevre Peninsula and were hailed with three hearty cheers. At midday we passed the quarantine station, which for a time suggested ideas respecting cholera, typhus, etc., but these emotions were evanescent. Having passed the North Arm and entered Light's Passage, the next object that attracted the attention was the steamer Wonga Wonga lying at anchor waiting for the outgoing mail to King George's Sound.

    About this time a general desire was expressed for a dance when, presto, a violinist suddenly made his appearance and in a few minutes many of the passengers were threading the intricate mazes of the dance to the measured cadences of the fiddle.

    About an hour after leaving the Port we were abreast the lightship and about this time a singular phenomenon was observed, for which I am unable to account upon. As the steamer was now fairly out at sea, and the waves were running something like three feet above the sea level, the reflection of the 'azure main' produced a singularly pallid hue upon the countenances of several of the passengers and many were seen to rush to the ship's side - but never mind.

    Captain Wells, with his assistants, did everything necessary to secure the comfort of the numerous passengers. We arrived at Glenelg and secured alongside the jetty at a little after three o'clock and left three hours later, half an hour before the announced time - much to the gratification of the Glenelg bus drivers, who thereby secured a few additional passengers for Adelaide! On our arrival back at the Port a special train conveyed us back to the city.

    The Eleanor was a model vessel of her class and was built by Palmer Brothers and her engines at South Shields, on the River Tyne, England. She was completed in March 1864 and sailed for South Australia rigged as a three-masted schooner; the passage was made in 120 days. She was then placed on Fletcher's slip, where her engines were fitted. Her length was 130 feet at the water line and 140 feet overall; breadth, 20 feet; depth of hold, 11 feet 6 inches.

    Christmas Carols

    The first Christmas carol heard by mortal ears was sung by angels over the fields of Bethlehem on the morning of Christ's nativity. The precise date of the institution of the Christmas festival is shrouded in obscurity. The earliest historical traces of it are found about the time of the Emperor Commodus (80-192 AD).

    In the reign of Diocletian (284-305), while that ruler was keeping court at Nicodemia, he learned that a number of Christians were assembled in the city to celebrate the birthday of Christ and, having ordered the church doors to be closed, he set fire to the edifice and probably satisfied his hate by the knowledge that all those Christian worshippers perished in the flames.

    It was not until about 1200 AD that the first earthly carol was rendered in a tiny Italian village near Assisi, where Jacopo da Todi, a follower of St Francis, wrote carols in popular language. The special hymns which formed and essential part of the early Christmas festivals were exceedingly simple - without much pretension to either the originality of thought or beauty of expression. They were bald, rhythmical repetitions of the more conspicuous facts of the Gospel natal narratives. Yet in these prolonged narratives echoes of the Angel's Hymn of Bethlehem is found the real germ of the medieval and modern carol.

    These lines were written in 1426 by John Audley, the blind and deaf chaplain of a Shropshire abbey. They prove that the practice of carol singing is a very ancient one; praises of 'Dan Noel' can be traced back even two centuries earlier than this. The carols of those days were Yule songs of the 'wassail' or 'health-drinking' type. The feast of Yule - that is, the turn of the year at the winter solstice - is of almost immeasurable antiquity. It was formerly celebrated by a curious blending of riots, feasts, and sacrifices to the chief tribal divinities.

    When Christianity was introduced into Britain by St Augustine, festivals of a more religious character were substituted for these ancient Yuletide revels. Augustine relates how intensely they moved his heart and fanned the flame of devotion in the assemblies. By the 15th century the practice of carol singing was widespread; the Puritans did their best to discourage it, but it was revived at the Restoration.

    At the beginning of the 19th century it was predicted that in the course of a few years Christmas carols would be heard no more. While the quaint, fantastic carols of the old days have fallen out of remembrance, it has become more the practice to sing them in the churches instead of in the open air.

    Christmas carols arrived in Adelaide for the first time in 1850 and were sung in Walkerville where Mr Bach, once a chorister at St Thomas's, Exeter, trained a few adults and several juveniles; they started off on Christmas Eve with lanterns, the carollers being accompanied by Mr Bach with his violin.

    The first place visited was the home of the Messrs Macdonald on Stephens Terrace - one brother, Alexander, was manager of the Union Bank and the other, James, secretary of a copper company and was married to a sister of Mr Edmund Bowman, of Enfield.

    The next place visited was Mr Fordham's on the North Road, where the family gave the carol singers cakes and cool drinks. When they got on to the North Road near the Windmill Hotel they found a number of people waiting, who asked them to sing again, as it reminded them of England.

    The tradition has continued over the years and I recall, particularly, the celebration of this wonderful British custom in 1872. From the vicinity of The Parade the sound of harmony attracted my notice; windows were thrown up, doors opened and old and young were attentive listeners as the music came nearer and nearer. I soon observed that a large van, well-lighted with lamps and full of vocalists of both sexes, was travelling along slowly and stopping at houses to regale the inmates with joyous, sweetly sung, carols.

    Between the songs the melodists and the citizens, whom they had serenaded, exchanged friendly and cordial greetings appropriate to the season. The night was slightly chilly and overcast, and looking from my window upon the van, with its freight of happy musicians, including fair laughing faces and young forms wrapped up cosily in warm plaids, the effect was uncommonly pleasing and picturesque.

    A regular feature of Christmas services at St Peter's Cathedral has been the singing of carols but, like every other form of musical expression, it has undergone marked changes. In 1884, of the seven carols performed by the choir, all except one referred directly to the birth of the Saviour in the manger at Bethlehem, the solitary exception, entitled 'Jacob's Ladder' being perhaps the prettiest, or at any rate, the most appealing. The one which proved most effective for choral purposes was, perhaps, 'The Babe in Bethlehem's Manger' - a very old carol both as regards words and music.

    Today, the practice has not altogether been abandoned, as isolated choirs and brass bands still render them. Decades ago, as related above, the choristers were out in force mounted on drags and other conveyances which would carry organs and other freight. Who has not heard from voice or instrument the melody to which these words apply:

    Today, in most suburban areas, the Salvation Army bands keep up the tradition and, where there is not a band available, a small choir is formed for the purpose. The Adjutant in charge of the Norwood corps told me that it was experience in four States that people were inclined to be piqued when disturbed in the early hours, while children waiting for Father Christmas became agitated. To obviate this his band went out on Christmas Eve and ceased at midnight, to continue the next morning at six o'clock and continue until 10 or 11 am.

    Those carollers, who still sing today upon the streets, have met with opposition in many quarters, but a spirited defence of the practice was presented on their behalf:

    Christmas Trees

    It is interesting to review the history of the Christmas tree for it goes back many centuries until it is lost in the dim mists of antiquity. Civilisations have risen, flourished and fallen; custom has changed and re-changed; human beings have passed out from the age of their childlike existence and become a modern complex organism. But in the midst of it all the Christmas tree has stood, unmoved, triumphant.

    The reason is that all through the ages it has been an emblem towards which the hearts of mankind has been drawn. It is one of those primal things that have possessed the power to score the history of the human race. Ordered existence has no need for it in the future, yet we will not willingly let die the picturesque symbol of a tradition that once counted so much.

    Many countries of the old world strive for the honour of the parentage of the Christmas tree. All have their popular traditions dealing with the subject and Goldsmith's citizen of the world, surveying mankind, would find it difficult to trace a growth of greater ancestry. One old myth born midst the wilds of ancient Scandinavia refers to a 'service tree' that sprang from the blood drenched soil where two lovers were killed.

    Another antiquarian has traced its origins to customs connected with the old Roman feast of the Saturnalia, when each honest tiller of the soil gave way to feasting and rejoicing after the autumn harvest had been sown. It is certain that Virgil, the Roman poet, makes allusion to the tree and refers to the pines hung with the earthen images of Bacchus, the god of wine. The Egyptians had the practice of decking their houses at the winter solstice with branches of the date palm, to them an emblem of immortality.

    All these traditions, however, may have been influenced by the fact that about this season of the year it was the custom of the Jews to celebrate their Feast of Light. Lighted candles are a feature of this Jewish festival and the fact that innumerable candles must have been twinkling in the humble homes in Bethlehem and Nazareth at the reputed hour of the Saviour's birth could, by association, easily have given place to the idea of a Christmas tree similarly illuminated.

    However, be that as it may, the first actual record of the existence of a Christmas tree carries one back no further than the 17th century. This is to be found in a manuscript dated 1608, now preserved in the old cathedral town of Strasbourg, Germany. However, it was not until about a century ago that the historic tree sprang into world-wide favour and took its present place in the charm of our Christmas festival.

    It was introduced into England about the time of the marriage of the late Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. Since then it has flourished. Its roots have spread far and wide and it has become quite a national institution. Transplanted to these sunny lands of the southern hemisphere, where conditions of climate and matters of sentiment are so different from what they are in the old lands, the tree has given another evidence of its adaptability by growing with equal vigour.

    The fir, may in some instances, have given place to the eucalyptus, but even in this particular there has been little change, and the mirth and the laughter, the joyousness of the gladdened hearts that surround it, are the same. Long may it be so is the wish of everyone who has at heart the welfare and happiness of the children.

    The first Christmas tree seen in South Australia was brought to the Saint Andrew's Day School, Walkerville, by Mrs Kent Hughes; it was a small olive tree. After it had served its purpose it was planted in the rectory garden where it grew and flourished.

    The Christmas Pudding

    The history of the origin of the plum pudding, which today ranks with roast beef in an Englishman's affections, has been lost. The Quakers, shrewd men that they were, evidently thought the people would be weaned from the detestable superstition surrounding Christmas pie only by the substitution of another dish, possibly more toothsome.

    Ancient records bear testimony to this sect distinguishing their feasts with a 'heretical kind of pudding known by their name.' Whether the Christmas pudding of the present day was evolved from this 'heretical' triumph of cookery cannot be stated with certainty.

    If such is the case another instance of the growth of the spirit of toleration is afforded in the fact that people of all shades of religions and political opinion can, in Australia, sit amicably at the same board and partake of the same dish, with no more heat than that which is engendered by consuming full-weight piping-hot pudding in a semi-tropical climate.

    Some people may be as much disposed to regard as superstitions the insertion into the pudding of coins, rings and miniature dolls, just as some Englishmen in the past viewed the Christmas pie as being superstitious. How these articles were first included among the ingredients is also unknown. Today, in 1902, the consumer of plum pudding may claim to be a patriot for does he not contribute through the customs to the revenue?

    Foe every pound of currants mixed in the pudding twopence duty has to be paid and threepence for every pound of raisins and candied peel. The spices, which afford a pleasant favour, have before reaching the kitchen added one-halfpenny per pound to the public revenue; while the sugar has been levied upon to the extent of more than a half-pence per pound. When brandy sauce has been added, further payment at the rate of 14 shillings a gallon has been made.

    The Christmas pudding is more than a passing event, a mere dish served up at a particular time of the year. It may justly claim to have become an institution in the life of English men and women, wherever they find themselves. Whether partaken amid the snows of the old country bedecked with a sprig of holly, or in the heat of southern climes adorned with a piece of Christmas bush, it is a welcome guest in every English-speaking home as Santa Claus himself.

    Today, however, a significance is coming over the ingredients of the Australian Christmas pudding, or rather, these ingredients are being obtained from different sources than a few years ago. Indeed, it is more likely that this year (1904), for the first time, the majority of the puddings consumed in South Australia will represent entirely local production.

    No currants and sultanas have been imported into South Australia this year, local production having proved sufficient for requirements. For some years raisins have been grown locally in quantities large enough to keep out importations. Except for the spices, all the ingredients in the South Australian pudding this Yuletide will represent the product of the State.

    National customs die hard and who knows that, wherever the ingredients are produced, the Christmas pudding may not constitute one of those sentimental ties which unite English people wherever they may roam in this universe?

    An Old English Recipe

    The farmer's wife in Northern England makes her Christmas pudding as soon as the first flurry of snow has raced down from the hills. Allow me to give the reader an ancient recipe handed down to me from my grandmother:

    Christmas Cards

    By the close of the 1880s the custom of presenting one's friends with reminders of the festive season was increasing rapidly. Early in this decade the Christmas card was a very unpretentious affair and the trade therein was a comparatively limited one. Unlike the Easter card or Valentine, however, this pretty memento had become so popular that the services of the best artists of England and the Continent were utilised for its production. Indeed, so important had the trade become that the leading papers of the old world did not hesitate to devote special articles to descriptions of such novelties and the Pall Mall Gazette even went so far as to reproduce wood cuts of the most striking designs of the cards of the season.

    At Rigby's in Adelaide in 1888 a striking point in connection with the imported cards of beautiful designs, was that many could be purchased for a mere trifle. It was gratifying from an artistic point of view to notice that the works of such great masters of Raphael (Madonna), Correggio (Nativity) and Murillo (St Joseph) were reproduced with every care and attention as to detail and colouring.

    Another line was what were termed 'opaline photos' which were designed for drawing room ornaments - quiet rural scenes, seascapes and studies in the human form divine were adapted to all tastes. There were plain and coloured carbon photos on opal of prominent British authors, politicians, actors, actresses, clergymen and celebrities of all kinds, ranging from the Grand Old Man to Miss Jenny Hill, 'The Vital Spark', who in her own way was, doubtless, as well known as William Ewart Gladstone himself. These opal photos were quite a feature in 1888 and were arranged in plain and plush mounts.

    A decided novelty was what was called the 'unique' series. They were paper-mache cards, hand-painted and inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Old artistic metal greeting cards in solid brass brought us back to the time of our forefathers, for the style was certainly quaint. The coloured photographs of 1888 displayed taste and delicate treatment and, among the mechanical cards, a folding purse was exceedingly clever. Comic cards necessarily played a not unimportant part in Rigby's collection, while there were many new designs in the embossed satin and autograph cards.

    Santa Claus

    There is a wonderful fascination in mystery. An action or event that is out of the common, and cannot be explained by natural laws and conditions, is all the more interesting on that account.

    No fairy tale or ghost story is more fully believed in by multitudes of young people than the nocturnal visit of Santa Claus is supposed to pay on Christmas Eve. A census of the stockings that are hung up annually in expectation of his arrival during the hours of darkness would show no diminution, even though this is not reputedly an age of faith.

    Letters are written to Santa Claus by shoals, specifying the kind of gift that will be most acceptable, though probably only a small percentage of them get as far as the post office, and prayers are offered in artless confidence that he will bring an answer. Such petitions may be simply irresistible as, for instance, the following:

    In the child-mind, doubts and difficulties that perplex older people have no existence. Santa Claus is invested with extraordinary powers, but the reconciliation of opposition gives no trouble. He is ubiquitous, but that is a small matter; he has unlimited resources, but the articles he supplies have very often been in some adjacent shop window and coveted.

    He drives a sleigh, to which pairs of reindeer are harnessed, and yet careers over housetops in the middle of the Australian summer. He has a bulky loading, but finds his way down narrow and crooked chimneys, because there is no other entrance and exit. The conquering of obstacles is accepted with charming unreserve up to a certain age and, the thoughtful generosity and goodness with which Santa Claus is associated, live long as a glad memory when disillusion has done its work.

    As in many other cases, there is a substratum of historical fact for the pleasant custom that prevails so extensively and the common idea of its practical figure. The title in constant use is really a diminutive - a pet name - for Saint Nicholas, who was a real personage and holds a prominent place in the Church calendar.

    He belonged to the fourth century of the Christian era and was a native of the city of Patara, in Lysia, Asia Minor. He is credited with having shown extraordinary piety at an early age, to such an extent, indeed, that while an infant at the breast he declined to receive the ordinary amount of nourishment on the fast days of the Church.

    It is certain that, having embraced a religious life, he entered the monastery of Sion, near Myra, and in time became the abbot of that institution. He fulfilled the duties of this responsible office so ably that he was elected archbishop of the metropolitan city of Myra and continued in that position until his death. Much that is mythical has probably been woven into his biography, but underlying the whole there is evidence that he was a pattern of piety and peculiarly distinguished by his benevolence and unostentatious generosity.

    Faith in Santa Claus as the personification of an unseen but beneficent agency is surely innocent and harmless. To copy his attributes must be advantageous on the one side, while the reception of his gifts is an unalloyed delight on the other. Wonderment about the manner of their bestowal confers an enhancing value, while the association of ideas and mental impressions has a salutary tendency to neutralise the apprehensive dread of darkness which is a common trouble of childhood.

    The survival of Santa Claus, like that of Father Christmas, is assignable rather to the operation of worthy impulses in human nature than to reverence for legend or tradition. For this reason, in both cases there are hopeful prospects of immortality.

    Epilogue: Christmas - Some Idle Thoughts

    Even the strong and the habitually hopeful sometimes tire by the way. They have their periods of depression and faint heartedness. There are occasions when in spirit they are taken into the wilderness of despair. Chafing at the slow march of reform, and the constant recurrence of old abuses even in new conditions, they find themselves asking, now and again, where is the promised peace? Where is the good will among men?

    With the most civilised nations of the earth devoting their best inventive genius to the perfection of the art of killing, and with the reappearance in our own times of the same unamiable qualities which have ever marked the course of mankind - the same callousness, greed and selfishness, there is little need to wonder that the ardent and sensitive reformer, impatient of wrong, and eager for the dawn of his own self-conceived social millennium, should at times feel dispirited.

    But in reality the advent of this Christmastide brings to all, who take a catholic view of things, solid ground for consolation and rejoicing. There are still wrongs to be righted; there are yet grievances to be redressed. Unlike Othello, the bearer of the torch of knowledge will never find his vocation gone. In gathering light and confidence from his own equipment, illuming the paths of the unfortunate and the weak, giving strength to the weary and confounding the machinations of the unjust, there will be a scope for his efforts.

    But it would be idle to claim that our civilisation, with all its blotches, and our striving in the cause of humanity with all its defects, have profited none. They have, in truth, added to the sum of human happiness. The misanthropic, and all those who have been allowed to become guarded and twisted out of their true form, may find neither joy nor see beauty in existence.

    But the man or woman, who has learnt the true philosophy of life, realising how intimately one's own good is bound up with that of others, and feeling that work and rational enjoyment of the fleeting pleasures of life are equally lawful and necessary, knows full well how the progress of the age in discovery, in invention and in culture, has increased both the opportunity and the capacity for happiness.

    Our own Christmas festivities never come to us with the gaunt and grim shadow of poverty sitting like a spectre at the feast. We have our poor but, fortunately, we do not have the want and distress crying at our doors that are to be seen in England. What is more, though we cling somewhat unreasonably to the old habits and traditions of our race, we are well able to surround our celebration with emblems of beauty and worth.

    The custom of almsgiving in England could not be more seasonable than in the depths of winter. That we should maintain the practice here in summer does us credit, though it would, perhaps, be better if it were followed at a time when in the northern hemisphere the poor least need assistance. But then we are enabled to make our commemoration beautiful with the flowers and foliage that bud in the summer time, and the generous fruits that a bountiful soil and equable climate give us.

    The charm of family reunions, the appreciation of friendship and the pleasure felt in doing good are quite as real here as in the mother land. Then if there are not the same inducements, or the same necessity for confining our pastimes to our houses, we have the pleasing and irresistible temptations to outdoor diversions. We believe, indeed, that most English people would gladly forgo the privilege they enjoy in the way of the driving sleet, snow and rain of their winters for our own bright weather at Yuletide.

    General Notes

    "The First Christmas Day in SA", by Rev James Blacket, is in the Register on
    24 December 1904, page 8i, also see
    24 December 1928, page 22a,
    24 December 1929, page 16a,
    26 December 1931, page 12e.
    "The State's First Christmas" is reminisced upon in the Advertiser,
    24 December 1910, page 12g.
    "Adelaide's First Christmas" is in the Advertiser,
    25 December 1912, page 8h.

    "Our First Christmas Day - Stories by Pioneers" is in the Advertiser,
    25 December 1926, page 9h.

    "Christmas 1848 at Kooringa" is in the Observer,
    6 January 1849, page 4c.

    "My First Christmas in Australia - Reminiscences of 1849 (by W. Round]" is in the Register,
    25 and 28 December 1903, pages 9a and 7b.

    "Old Christmas Days" is in the Register,
    25 December 1919, page 6e.

    "Christmas Time - 87 Years Ago" is in the Register,
    24 December 1923, page 11c.

    "Christmases of Long Ago", which includes information on the first carol singing in SA, is in the Register,
    24 December 1920, page 6e,
    Letters in respect of the virtue or otherwise of carol singing in the streets are in the Express,
    26 December 1872, page 2c,
    "The Christmas Carol" is in the Register,
    23 December 1904, page 4d.
    "Christmas Carols and Hideous Noises"is in the Register,
    21 December 1921, page 3a.
    Also see Advertiser,
    15 and 19 December 1921, pages 11a and 6f,
    29 and 30 November 1922, pages 16d and 15e,
    9 and 12 December 1922, pages 5i and 11f.
    "Decline of Carol Singing" is in The Mail,
    15 December 1928, page 16c.

    "Our Early Christmases" is in The Mail,
    9 December 1933, page 23.

    "My First Christmas in SA" in 1849 is recalled in the Register,
    25 December 1903, page 9a and
    "South Australia's Earliest Christmas" in the Advertiser,
    27 December 1906, page 4f.

    "The Sick and the Poor - Their Christmas Prospects" is in the Express,> 23 December 1904, page 4f.

    "Christmas Eve in a Country Town" is in the Observer,
    28 December 1907, page 41a.

    "Christmas of Other Days" is in the Register,
    25 December 1915, page 9e.

    "Christmas Thoughts" in early South Australia is in the Advertiser,
    24 May 1924, page 14d.

    The prisoners' Christmas dinner at the Adelaid gaol is discussed in the Register,
    27 December 1859, page 3g.

    Christmas festivities at Mr Mellor's factory are described in the Observer,
    31 December 1859, page 4c,
    "Christmas Festivities" on
    31 December 1864, page 2d (supp.).

    Christmas festivities at Port Elliot are discussed in the Observer,
    7 January 1860, page 3c.
    Christmas pastimes are traversed in the Register,
    2 January 1861, page 3f.
    Christmas festivities at Tea Tree Gully (Steventon) are described in the Chronicle,
    28 December 1861, page 7f.

    A report on a Christmas tree exhibition at the Norwood Town Hall is in the Observer,
    27 December 1862, pages 4g-7g.

    Christmas Day "at the public institutions" is reported in the Register,
    27 December 1866, page 3a.
    29 December 1866, page 4e.

    A trip on Lake Albert is reported in the Express,
    27 December 1866, page 3b,
    17 January 1867, page 3d.

    A description of Adelaide on Christmas Day appears in the Express,
    26 December 1866, page 3b,
    29 December 1866, page 5d,
    28 December 1867, page 5c.

    A Christmas "treat" for the employees of Crawford and Company is reported in the Observer,
    28 December 1867, page 4f.

    A sketch is in the Illustrated Adelaide Post,
    29 December 1870, page 17.

    Christmas festivities at Meningie are described in the Register,
    3 January 1868, page 3e.

    "Christmas in the South" is in the Chronicle,
    1 January 1870, page 6f.

    Christmas Eve at the lunatic asylum is discussed in the Observer,
    31 December 1870, page 5c.

    "Christmas" is in the Chronicle,
    28 December 1872, page 8c.

    "Christmas Eve in a Church and What Came of It" is in the Register,
    26 December 1873, page 6f.

    "Santa Claus" is in the Register,
    27 December 1875, page 4f.

    "Christmas in Adelaide" is described in the Register,
    26 December 1876, page 5g and
    "Christmas Eve" on
    26 December 1877, page 5d; also see
    27 December 1880, page 6e,
    27 December 1881, page 5f.
    Sketches are in the Pictorial Australian in
    December 1883, page 177.

    "The Streets on Wednesday" (24 December) is in the Register,
    26 December 1879,
    "Preparing for Christmas" and "Christmas Eve in Adelaide" on
    24 and 25 December 1884, pages 6d and 5g.
    Similar reports follow on an annual basis in later years.

    Christmas at Gawler is described in the Register,
    27 December 1880, page 6g.
    Christmas festivities are reported upon in the Observer,
    31 December 1892, page 35d.

    Cartoons are in The Lantern,
    8 January 1881,
    26 December 1885, page 24.

    "Christmas Customs" is in the Register,
    24 December 1881, page 6a,
    "A Christmas Greeting" in the Observer,
    24 December 1881, page 20d; also see
    2 January 1886, page 33a.

    "Christmas at Hawker" is in the Register, 2 January 1882, page 6f.

    "Christmas at Koolunga" is in the Register,
    4 January 1882, page 5a,
    7 January 1882, page 8a.
    "Preparing for Christmas" is in the Register,
    24 December 1884, page 6d.

    A Christmas dinner for the poor, donated by Messrs E.T. Smith and William Kither, is reported in the Register,
    23, 24 and 28 December 1885, pages 6g, 5d and 6h.
    "Christmas Gifts for the Poor" is in the Register,
    18 December 1886, page 5a.

    "Christmas Gifts for the Poor Children" is in the Register,
    17, 24 and 28 December 1889, pages 5b-6b, 6c and 5b,
    "The Poor Children's Festival" on
    1 January 1890, page 6b.
    "Cheer at Christmastide" is in the Register,
    29 November 1890, page 6a,
    6 December 1890, page 5d.
    "Christmas Cheer for the Poor" is in the Observer,
    8 December 1894, page 15a.
    A photograph of "Christmas Cheer for the Destitute" is in The Critic,
    20 December 1905, page 26.
    "How Adelaide Will Provide Christmas Cheer for Poor and Needy" is in The Mail,
    15 December 1928, page 27.

    "Christmas Dinner for the Poor"of Adelaide is in the Express,
    26 December 1885, page 2f,
    "Christmas Gifts to the Poor" on
    19 December 1887, page 4a,
    "Christmas Cheer for Poor Children" on
    2 January 1890, page 3b,
    24 December 1890, page 5c,
    19 November 1891, page 3g,
    12 January 1892, page 2c,
    26 November 1892, page 6h,
    24 December 1892, page 5h.

    "Christmas Cheer for Poor Children" in the Advertiser,
    1 January 1890, page 5f,
    27 December 1890, page 31c,
    24 December 1890, pages 4g-6a,
    14 January 1891, page 5b,
    24 December 1891, page 6b,
    26 December 1891, page 21f.

    "Home-Made Christmas Gifts" is discussed in the Observer,
    19 November 1887, page 43b.

    "Christmas Decorations" is in the Register,
    20 December 1887, page 6b.
    "Christmas Pudding Reform" is in the Register,
    13 December 1901, page 4e,
    "Christmas Pie and Pudding" on
    25 December 1902, page 5h.

    "Christmas Meat" is in the Register,
    22 December 1904, page 4g.
    "The Christmas Pudding" is in the Register,
    24 December 1904, page 6g.
    "The Christmas Goose" is in the Register,
    20 and 21 December 1911, pages 7b and 7b,
    21 December 1912, page 15g.
    "The Christmas Table - Will Cost More" is in the Register,
    23 December 1914, page 11c.

    "Christmas Cards" is commented upon in the Express,
    14 November 1887, page 2d,
    5 and 13 December 1888, pages 5e and 2d,
    23 December 1889, page 5d,
    7 November 1896, page 5c, Express,
    1 November 1904, page 2a.

    "My First Christmas in SA" (1849) is discussed in the Register,
    25 December 1889, page 6e,
    "Christmas in SA - 84 Years Ago" on
    25 December 1920, page 4h; also see
    24 December 1923, page 11c,
    24 December 1924, page 12e,
    24 December 1925, page 10c.

    Plans for a Christmas entertainment for poor children are reported in the Register,
    29 November 1890, pages 5a-6a,
    2, 6, 9, 13, 20 and 24 December 1890, pages 6a, 5d, 5b-c, 5c, 5a and 4g-6a; also see
    14 January 1891, page 5b,
    26 December 1895, page 6c and
    24 and 26 December 1894, pages 6c and 6f.

    "Christmas Cheer for Poor Children" is in the Express,
    2 January 1890, page 3b,
    "Children's Christmas Cheer" in the Observer,
    27 December 1890, page 31c.

    Cartoons are in the "Christmas 1889" edition of The Lantern.

    Sketches of "how we spent our Christmas holidays" are in the Pictorial Australian in
    December 1890, pages 176, 177 and 184,

    "Novelties for Christmas" is in the Observer,
    19 December 1891, page 26d,
    "Christmas Presents" on
    22 December 1894, page 16d.

    "Christmas Day at the Yatala Stockade" is in the Observer,
    3 January 1891, page 34e,
    "Christmas in the Labour Prison" is in the Register,
    27 December 1890, page 5f,
    28 December 1892, page 6e.
    "Christmas in Prison" is in The Mail,
    15 December 1928, page 5c.

    "A Christmas Holiday in SA" is in the the Register,
    30 December 1892, page 7a.

    "Christmas Cheer in Norwood" is in the Observer,
    19 December 1896, page 21c.
    Christmas cheer for children is discussed in the Express,
    9 and 24 December 1891, pages 5e and 2c,
    24 December 1894, page 3d.
    "Children's Christmas Cheer" is in the Chronicle,
    26 December 1891, page 21f.
    "Christmas Cheer for Children" is in the Advertiser,
    24 and 26 December 1894, pages 6c and 6f.

    An editorial headed "Christmas" is in the Register,
    25 December 1891, page 4f,
    24 December 1892, page 4f.

    "A Christmas Holiday in SA" is in the Register,
    30 December 1892, page 7a.

    "Christmas Cheer" is in the Register,
    3 December 1894, page 4g.

    Cartoons are in The Critic,
    25 December 1897, page 14.

    Hans Andersen's Fairy Bower at James Marshall & Co is described in the Advertiser,
    9 December 1899, page 11c.
    "Christmas in the Shops" is in the Chronicle,
    12 December 1896, page 18a.
    "Christmas Preparations" in the Observer,
    23 December 1899, page 14a.
    Also see Adelaide - Shops.

    "Cooperative Coupon Company - The Modern Santa Claus" is in the Register,
    21 December 1899, page 4c,

    "Christmas Novelties" is in the Advertiser,
    8 November 1901, page 6h.

    A cartoon is in The Critic,
    14 December 1901, page 32.

    An editorial on "Santa Claus" is in the Advertiser,
    24 December 1902, page 4e,
    "Crime at Christmastide" on
    24 December 1902, page 4f,
    "Christmastide at the Railway Station" on
    31 December 1902, page 6i.

    "My First Christmas in Australia", by W. Round, is in the Observer,
    2 January 1904, page 37e.

    "The Christmas Season in Adelaide" is in the Chronicle,
    26 December 1903, page 44.

    Photographs taken on Christmas Eve are in the Chronicle,
    31 December 1904, page 28.

    "The Sick and the Poor - Their Christmas Prospects" is in the Express,
    23 December 1904, page 4f.
    "The Sick and the Poor - Their Christmas Prospects" in the Advertiser,
    23 December 1904, page 6c.
    "Father Christmas at Tanunda" is in the Observer,
    1 December 1906, page 24d.
    "Christmas at Tarcoola" is in the Register,
    4 January 1906, page 3d.
    8 January 1914, page 8g.
    "Christmas Eve in a Country Town" is in the Register,
    24 December 1907, page 6g.
    28 December 1907, page 41a.

    "Christmas Cheer for the Aged Poor" is in the Register,
    23 December 1908, page 4h.
    "The Legend of the Christmas Tree" is in the Advertiser,
    25 December 1908, page 10g.

    "Christmas Holidays - Where to Go and How to Get There" is in the Register on
    17 December 1909, page 9a.

    "Christmas Mails - A Congested Post Office" is in the Advertiser,
    25 December 1909, page 12b.

    "What Would You Like at Christmas? - Street Opinions" is in the Advertiser,
    21 December 1909, page 8c.

    The trauma of "The Slaughter of Innocents" for Christmas dinner is commented upon in the Advertiser,
    23 December 1909, page 7e.

    "Christmas Mails - A Congested Post Office" is in the Advertiser,
    25 December 1909, page 12b.

    "Origins of Yuletide - A Dip Into History" is in the Register,
    24 December 1910, page 8c.

    "Feeding the Multitude - Meat for the Christmas Season" is in the Advertiser,
    21 December 1911, page 10d.

    An interesting article about Christmas games "For Young and Old" is in the Advertiser,
    22 December 1911, page 13c,
    "Some Exciting Games to Play" is in The Mail,
    9 December 1933, page 29.

    "Bush Christmases" is in the Register,
    25 December 1911, page 9c.

    A photograph of toys is in the Observer,
    2 December 1911, page 30,
    of an outback Christmas dinner gong on
    17 December 1921, page 2 (supp.),
    of the "gaiety and joy" of Christmas Eve on
    29 December 1923, page 32.

    "Christmas in the Post Office - The Old and the New" is in the Register,
    25 December 1912, page 11a.

    A photograph of "The Christmas Goose" and of "The Christmas Mail Outback" is in the Observer,
    12 December 1914, page 2 (supp.).

    "Christmas in the Institutions" is in the Express,
    23 December 1914, page 4g.

    "Around the Christmas Tree - The Soldiers Children" is in the Register,
    14 and 20 December 1916, pages 6f and 8e.

    "Some Christmas Hints" is in the Observer,
    23 December 1916, page 35a.

    "Christmas at Lone Gum" is in the Register,
    31 December 1919, page 3c.

    "Santa Claus - Patron Saint of Children" is in the Register,
    2 April 1919, page 6g.

    "Christmas Cleaning - Rounding up Disorderlies" is in the Advertiser,
    11 and 14 December 1922, pages 12f and 9e.

    "Christmas at Green's Plains" is in the Observer,
    1 January 1921, page 44b.

    "Christmastide and Sports" is in the Register,
    26 December 1921, page 4b.

    "Preparing for Christmas Dinner - The Harassed Housewife" is in the Advertiser,
    21 December 1922, page 9a.

    "Reflections on Santa Claus" is in the Advertiser,
    27 December 1922, page 12d.

    "240 Miles for a Christmas Dinner" is in the Register,
    24 December 1923, page 11f.

    "Christmas in Copper Towns" is in the Register,
    31 December 1923, page 9b,
    5 January 1924, page 9a.

    "Ideal Australian Christmas Dinner" is in The Mail,
    19 December 1925, page 3c.

    "The Cockies' Christmas Eve" is in the Observer,
    12 December 1925, page 5b.

    "Christmas Cards and Calendars" is in the Advertiser,
    5 November 1927, page 15f.

    "Seen Thirty Christmas Crowds - The Old Grey Horse in Grenfell Street", together with a photograph, is in The Mail,
    15 December 1928, page 7a.
    Photographs of Christmas shoppers are in the Observer,
    22 and 29 December 1928, pages 35 and 38.

    "[Christmas] Gifts With a Personal Touch" is in the Observer,
    11 December 1930, page 29c.

    "Various Phases of Christmas" is in The News, 1
    9 December 1933, page 7b.

    "Christmas Cleaning - Rounding up Disorderlies" is in the Advertiser,
    11 and 14 December 1922, pages 12f and 9e.

    "Preparing for Christmas Dinner - The Harassed Housewife" is in the Advertiser,
    21 December 1922, page 9a.

    "Reflections on Santa Claus" is in the Advertiser,
    27 December 1922, page 12d.

    "Ideal Australian Christmas Dinner" is in The Mail,
    19 December 1925, page 3c.

    "Christmas Cards and Calendars" is in the Advertiser,
    5 November 1927, page 15f.

    "A Christmas Pudding - A North of England Recipe" is in the Advertiser,
    8 November 1927, page 11f.

    "Various Phases of Christmas" is in The News,
    19 December 1933, page 7b.

    "Bringing Christmas to the Needy" is in The Mail,
    14 December 1935, page 12d.
    The Colony - Choose again