The Christmas Party by Unknown
Mr. and Mrs. Percy had seven grandchildren,
all very pretty and very good. These children
did not all have the same father and mother—that
is, Mr. and Mrs. Percy's eldest son had
three children, whose names were Mary, and
Carry, and Thomas; and one of their daughters
was married, and had three children—their
names were Willy, and Bella, and Fanny; and
their youngest son was married and had one
child. Her name was Sarah. She was the
youngest of the children, and they all loved her
very much, and her Grandma made a great pet
The children and their parents had been
invited to eat a Christmas dinner with their
Grandma, and they had been promised a little
dance in the evening. Even little Sarah was to
go, and stay to the ball, as she called it. They
were glad, for they liked to go to their dear
Grandma's very much.
At last Christmas came. It was a bright,
frosty day; the icicles that hung from the iron
railing, sparkled as the sun shone upon them,
and the little boys in the streets made sliding
ponds of the gutters, and did not mind a bit when
they came down on their backs, but jumped up
and tried it again; and a great many people
were hurrying along with large turkeys to cook
for their Christmas dinner, and everybody looked
very happy indeed.
After these children, about whom I am telling
you, came back from church, they were dressed
very nicely, and although they lived in three different
houses, they all got to their Grandma's
very nearly at the same time. The first thing
they did was to run up to their Grandma, and wish
her a merry Christmas, and kiss her, and say
that they hoped she felt quite well. Then they
did the same to their Grandpa and Aunties, for
they had two dear, kind aunts, who lived with
their Grandparents. Then they all hugged and
kissed each other, and jumped about so much,
that some kissed noses and some kissed chins,
and little Sarah was almost crazy with delight,
for she had never been to so large a party
"Grandma," said Willy, "I hung up my
stocking last night, and what do you think I got
His Grandma guessed that he got a birch-rod.
"No," said Willy, laughing, "I got a doughnut
in the shape of a monkey with a long tail;
I ate the monkey for my breakfast, and it was
very good indeed."
The children all laughed at this, and Bella,
Willy's sister, who was the oldest of all the children,
said she thought Willy had a monkey-look
about him. So he went by the name of the
monkey-eater for the rest of the day.
Soon the bell rang for dinner, and they all
went down stairs; for the children and grown
people were to dine together. It was now quite
dark, and the chandelier that hung over the
table was lighted, the curtains were drawn close,
the fire burnt brightly, and the table-cloth was
so white and fine that it looked like satin.
The happy party sat down at a large round
table, and the children's eyes looked so bright
and their cheeks so rosy, that it was the pleasantest
sight in the world to see. Little Sarah
could not help having a great many little laughs
all to herself. She could not keep them in. She
was only four years old, so you may suppose she
could not look very grave and stiff on such a
When Willy saw his little cousin Sarah trying
to hide her sparkling eyes, and her funny little
laugh behind her mother's arm, he felt just as if
somebody was tickling him. So he pinched his
lips together very tight indeed, and casting his
eyes up to the ceiling, tried to look as grave
as a judge. But it would not do; he burst out
into such a fit of laughing, that everybody else
laughed too, and it was a long time before they
could get their faces straight enough to eat their
Would you like to know what they had for
dinner? Well, I will tell you. After their
Grandpa had asked a blessing, they had some
very nice soup. The children did not care for
soup. Then they had a fish stuffed with all sorts
of things, and stewed, and the grown people said
the fish was very nice; but the little ones did not
care for that either. They then had some roast
beef and a boiled turkey with oysters. The children
all took turkey; Willy asked for a drum-stick,
and his cousin Mary said he wanted it to
beat the monkey he ate in the morning. Bella
chose a merry-thought; little Sarah liked a hug-me-fast;
Carry took a wishing-bone; Thomas
said he would have the other drum-stick to help
beat the monkey, and Fanny thanked her Grandma
for a wing, so that she could fly away when
the beating of the monkey took place.
But this was not half the good things, for
they afterwards had some delicious game, such as
partridges, and woodcocks, and some fried oysters.
All this pleased the grown people most. The
children saved their appetites for the dessert.
Well, after this, the cloth was taken off, and
under that was another table-cloth just as white
and fine as the first.
Then came something that was quite astonishing.
What do you think it was? It was a great
plum-pudding all on fire! it blazed away terribly,
and Willy thought they had better send for the
fire-engines to put it out; but it was blown out
very easily, and the children each had a very
small piece, because it was too rich to eat much
of, and their parents did not wish to make them
After that there came ice-creams, and jellies,
and sweetmeats, that were perfectly delicious;
and then the other white cloth was taken off, and
under that was a beautiful red one. Then the
servants put on the table what the children liked
best of all, and that was a dish of fine motto-kisses,
and oranges, and grapes, and other nice
The children sent the mottoes to each other,
and had a great deal of sport. Some one sent
"O William, William, 'tis quite plain to see
That all your life you will a monkey be."
He thought his cousin Mary had sent it, because
he saw that she was trying very hard to look
grave, so he sent this to her:—
"Dear Mary, you are too severe—
You are too bad, I do declare;
Your motto has upset me quite,
I shan't get over it to-night."
Mary laughed when she read it, and said she had
been just as cruel to Thomas, for she had sent
"The rose is red, the violet blue,
The grass is green and so are you."
They had a good laugh at Thomas, but as he
laughed as hard as any one, it did no harm.
Little Sarah had a great many mottoes. Her
Mamma read them to her, and it pleased her
very much. She said it was a very nice play, but
she was tired with sitting such a long time at
table, so her Mother let her slip down from her
Very soon all the rest got up, and went up
stairs into the drawing-room. But what was that
in the middle of the room? It seemed to be a large
table covered all over with a red cloth. What
could it be? Willy said, "Grandma, that table
looks as if something was on it;" and little
Sarah said, "Grandma, I guess Old Father
Christmas has been here."
"Yes, dear children," said their Grandma,
"Father Christmas has been here, and this time
he looked very much like your Grandpa. He will
be up soon, and then we will see what is on the
Oh how the children did wish to peep! They
could not look at anything else; they danced
and jumped round the table, and were in a great
hurry for their Grandpa. In a few minutes he
came into the room, and all the children ran up
to him and said, "Dear Grandpa, do let us see
what you have got on the table."
He smiled, and went to the table and took
the cloth off. The children were so astonished
that they could not say a single word; the table
was covered with beautiful things, and under it
was something that looked like a little red-brick
"Well," said their kind Grandpa, "my dear
children, you did not think you were going to be
treated with such a fine show as this; you may
go up to the table, and see if you can find out
who they are for." The children gathered round
the table, and Willy took from the top a fine brig
with all her sails set, and colours flying. His
eyes sparkled when he saw written on a slip of
paper which lay on the deck, these words;
"For my dear Willy." The children clapped
their hands, and nothing was heard, but "How
beautiful!" "What a fine ship!" "It is a
brig of war," said Willy: "only look at the
little brass guns on her deck! Thank you, thank
you, dear Grandpa. What is the name of my
"Her name is painted on her stern," said his
Grandpa. Willy looked, and saw that she was
called the "Louisa." He blushed, and looked
very funny, and the other children laughed, for
Willy knew a very pretty little girl whose name
was Louisa, and he liked her very much; and
that was what made them laugh when they heard
After they had all admired the brig, they
went back to the table, and there were two beautiful
books, full of engravings or pictures, one for
Bella and one for Mary; and next to these was a
large wax doll for Carry, and another for Fanny.
Carry's doll was dressed in blue satin, with a
white satin hat and a lace veil, and Fanny's doll
was dressed in pink satin with a black velvet hat
and feathers—their eyes opened and shut, and
they had beautiful faces.
How delighted the little girls were! They
hugged their dolls to their little breasts, and
then ran to hug and kiss their Grandpa.
Carry said, "My dolly's name shall be Rose;"
and Fanny said, "My dolly's name shall be
Christmas, because I got her on Christmas-day."
Well I must hurry and tell you the rest, for I
am afraid my story is getting too long. Thomas
found for him a splendid menagerie, and all the
animals made noises like real animals. There
were roaring lions, and yelling tigers, and laughing
hyenas, and braying asses, and chattering
monkeys, and growling bears, and many other
wild beasts. Oh, how pleased Thomas was, and
all the children!
Little Sarah did nothing but jump up and
down, and say, "So many things! So many
things! I never saw so many things!"
But who was to have the little house under
the table, I wonder? There was a little piece
of paper sticking out of the chimney, and Sarah
pulled it out and carried it to her Grandpa. He
took her up in his arms, and read it to her.
What was written on it was, "A baby-house for
my little darling Sarah."
"Why, I guess this must be for you," said
"Yes, it is for me," said the little girl; "my
name is Sarah, and it must be for me."
Her Grandpa put her down, and led her to
the table. He drew the little house out, and
opened it. The whole front of the house opened,
and there, inside, were two rooms; one was a
parlour, and one a bedroom. The children all
cried out, "What a fine baby-house! Look at
the centre-table, and the red velvet chairs; and
only see the elegant curtains! Oh dear! how
beautiful it is!"
Little Sarah did not say a word. She stood
before the baby-house with her hands stretched
out, and jumped up and down, her eyes shining
like diamonds. She was too much pleased to
speak. She looked so funny jumping up and
down all the time, that she made Willy laugh
again, and then everybody laughed.
At last she said, "There is a young lady sitting
in the chair with a red sash on. I think she
wants to come out."
"Well, you may take her out," said her
Grandpa. So Sarah took the young lady out, and
then took up the chairs and sofa, one by one, and
smoothed the velvet, and looked at the little
clock on the mantelpiece, and opened the little
drawers of the bureau; and then putting them
down, she began to jump again.
There was never such a happy party before.
The children hardly wished to dance, they were
so busy looking at their presents. But after a
little while they had a very nice dance. One of
their aunts played for them; she played so well,
and kept such nice time, that it was quite a
pleasure to hear her.
It was now quite late, and little Sarah had
fallen fast asleep on the sofa, with the young lady
out of the baby-house clasped tight to her little
bosom. So they wrapped her up, doll and all, in
a great shawl, and the rest put on their nice
warm coats and cloaks; and after a great deal of
hugging and kissing, they got into the carriages
with their parents, and went home happy and
Thus ended this joyful Christmas-day.