Christmas in the Year 2000 can be found in





DURING the present bi-millennial year 2000, now so near its end, we have been doing an immense amount of looking before and after, especially, perhaps, after. The sentiment of the old hymn writer has been brought home to us in a vivid manner that,

"On a narrow neck of land
'Twixt two unbounded seas we stand."

Between the glamour of departed days and the rose tints of to-morrow, the affairs of to-day, illuminated by the hard white light of the present, have seemed singularly commonplace and uninteresting.

Meanwhile to parents and educators in general this bi-millennial year has been a Godsend by its effect in generating an historic enthusiasm most needful to help young minds, or old ones for that matter, to bridge in imagination the tremendous gap between the nineteenth century, which closed the gloomy procession of the dark ages, and the twentieth, with which the modern world may be said to have begun.

In the America of our great-grandparents there were among many minor feasts and fasts two great days, the Fourth of July and Christmas Day. Perhaps in no simpler way can we obtain at a glance a more vivid conception of the contrast between the state of human development a century ago and now, than by considering the changes that have come over the popular way of regarding these two anniversaries.

IT has been a conceit of some of our romancists, and one upon which divers pleasing fictions have been based, that the suggestions and impressions of the present bi-millennial year have not only influenced deeply our own intellectual and moral atmosphere, but that they have had a like effect m the spiritual world to the extent of disturbing those gravitations by which at other times the souls of the disembodied and unembodied keep their places, and that in consequence many spirits of other generations have during this year been walking unobserved among us and noting our ways, even as it is reported the dead walked during the crucifixion of Christ.

If by virtue of this ingenious theory we suppose the spirit of one of our great-grandparents, representing the last quarter of the nineteenth century, to have been thus going up and down among us during the past year, perhaps nothing has more shocked the dear old soul than finding his beloved Fourth of July forgotten.

This year, indeed, the day has been made much of, but the reason of the revival must probably have hurt his feelings even more than the fact of the previous neglect.

How must his ghostly gorge have risen, if he were at all a typical American of the old time...

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