Christmas Cheer from the Band of Hope Review

Wakely, Charles (1906) Christmas Cheer from the Band of Hope Review. [Image]

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This item from the Band of Hope Review in 1906 combines seasonal wishes with a timely reminder of total abstention principles.

I daresay that most of my readers have heard the old rhyme,
“At Christmas, play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.”

If I were to ask what “good cheer” boys and girls like best at Christmas, many would answer, Plum Pudding! Close on the heels of Santa Claus it comes, bearing with it the fruits of many lands – a delicious mixture of things that are nice. How jolly our welcome old friend looks, with his brown sides studded with plums and peel! How the sprigs of holly, stuck in the top, set him off, and how the little flags surmounting all, with the crosses of St. George, and St, Andrew, and St. Patrick, add to his charm. Isn’t there something about a Christmas pudding to make us think of the happy Union of Band of Hope boys and girls, and the “Peace and good-will” of the angels’ song at Bethlehem?

Now, isn’t it pleasant to look forward not only to the pudding, but also to the happy Christmas season, which yields so much joy, and fun, and laughter? But how sad to think of the empty cupboards and cheerless homes that will be the lot of so many around us. Let us try, amid our merriment, to remember and make glad the poor children whose surroundings seem so sad and hopeless.

It is delightful to think of the dear friends we shall meet, the kind faces we shall see and the jolly times we shall have; but, amongst all the happy meetings and greetings of Yuletide, I wonder if any of us will be asked to take a glass of enticing wine or other intoxicating drink? “Just a sip or two, you know, because others have it”. I hope no boy or girl who reads this will be so tempted, but if you should be, that will be the time, as our Union Jack reminds us, to show your colours – to “nail them”, as the sailors say, “to the mast.”
A gentleman said to an errand boy who had brought him a big parcel at Christmas, “My boy, that parcel was very heavy. I’ll tell the servant to bring you a glass of wine.”
“Please, sir,” said the boy, “I can’t drink it.”
“And why not?”
“Please, sir, I belong to the Band of Hope.”
“That’s right, my boy,” said the gentleman, handing him a bright sixpence, “stick to your colours, and don’t be ashamed of your principles.”
I don’t think, boys and girls, that I could give you a better motto for Christmas than that; and so, whilst wishing you A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I would repeat. Stick to your colours, and don’t be ashamed of your principles.

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