CHRISTMAS IN HUDDERSFIELD.
Ever since the feast which was first held in the fourth century, or, as some say, at an earlier period, to commemorate the greatest event that ever befell on earth — the birth of Christ — it has, year after year, and age after age, increased in extent and popularity. The Christmas festival has always been associated with eating and drinking in some form or other, with rejoicing of hearts, and feelings of “good-will” towards men. These feelings are somewhat portrayed in the custom of making presents, though this practice, which makes the event the more interesting to families, is said to be derived from heathen usage. The joyous season is closely interwoven with holly, mistletoe, and ivy, and daring the past week the treasures of many a shrubbery have been dispoiled, and stores of the mystic mistletoe from the Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire orchards have been utilised by nimble fingers, which have been engaged in sticking and tacking the leafy epigraphs which impart to us a principle of gratitude, making glad our hearts, and serving as some testimony that in the great race, for the possession of money some feeling of “good-will” is left, and that hope, joy, and faith are not altogether isolated from man’s poor human nature. In a few days Christmas will have rolled away after the hundreds of similar events which have preceded it; but so long as the season remains Huddersfield will not be behind any other town in providing for the increased wants of the inner man. If a satisfactory and successful year’s trade had not been experienced throughout this important centre of woollen manufacture, the working-classes would have been ill-prepared to provide themselves with the “Roast beef and plum pudding of Old England,” and thus it is cheering to know that generally a good year’s work has been done by all those who have not been prevented by bodily infirmity from following their avocation.
To return to the tradesmen, who seem prepared — as when are they not? — to supply for cash any quantity of eatables and drinkables, we award claims tor first mention to the vendors of beet and mutton, in the shape of sirloins and rounds of beef, legs of pork and mutton, and the other joints of which an ox or a sheep are made up. These have a peculiar charm for the multitude just now, as also have the large stocks of turkeys, geese, pheasants, hares, &c., with which the gamedealers’ establishments are so well filled. Then a Christmas dinner is not complete without plum pudding, and thus we must turn our attention to the grocers, who have their windows displayed with raisins, currants, and other fruits and groceries, while those who like a bit of good English cheese will be able to make their selections from a variety of dairies. The jewellers, too, with their rings, earrings, watches, chains, bracelets, and other articles which are such an attraction at Christmas time, are not by any means in the rear. Picture dealers, proprietors of musical depots, stationers, and other tradesmen have all made extra efforts in their respective departments to cater to the wants of the people. That townspeople and tradespeople alike will be satisfied with the Christmas of 1882, is a heart-felt wish, and no less sincere is the hope that the festive season will be followed by a happy and prosperous “New Year.”