Christmas- of all the holidays in the year is for many reasons, the greatest; and one reason among others is, that it stands out of the winter time. We have always loved it and ever shall. One child once remarked on their reason for loving it so much with the simple statement, “because Christmas is Christmas.” It is because of the hollies and other evergreens which people conspire to bring into their houses on this day, making a kind of summer in winter. It closes and begins the year with cheerfulness. The approach of Christmas is hailed in every family with great delight. The young look forward to it with glad anticipations of plum pudding, never so much enjoyed as on Christmas day, when its steaming circumference is crowned with a sprig of holly, mince pies, snap dragons (a game whereby the participants would attempt to pick raisins out of a bowl of burning brandy without getting burnt), kisses under the mistletoe, and bon-bons hanging from the boughs of Christmas trees.
The old recall the merry Christmases of their youth. It is a happy period of the year, a period of rejoicing and reunion, and with it are associated some of the most pleasing recollections of our lives. This festival is one which unites friends and relatives where circumstances have placed them at a distance from each other.
The burning of the ‘Yule Log’ on Christmas Eve was a popular custom in Doncaster. It is placed on the fire every successive evening until New Year’s Eve, and what is left is always preserved until the joyous season returns. One explanation of the custom goes this way: “the ‘Yule Clog’, is a great log of wood, sometimes the root of a tree, brought into the house with great ceremony on Christmas Eve, laid in the fire-place and lit with the remnants of the last years Yule Log. While it lasted there was much drinking, singing, and telling of tales. The Yule Clog was to burn all night; if it went out it was considered a sign of bad luck.”
The Doncaster Waite’s, a group of volunteers with harps and guitars would roam the streets and as the music faded out a voice would shout out, “A merry Christmas and a happy New Year, your pockets full of money and your cellars full of beer!”