Preparing for Christmas

HOW earnest Kate and Constance and Brother Willy look,
Counting up varied treasures, ship, bat and doll and book!

The three are very busy, and very happy too,
Trying to mend up old things to look almost like new.
The book was rather shabby, but Kate with paste and thread
Has made it firm and tidy, and rubbed it clean with bread.
And now, ere she resigns it, she lingers, glancing o’er
The pretty picture pages and well-known lines once more.
Constance has dressed the dolly—you see how nice it looks—
And all its things are fastened with little strings or hooks.
The ship with clean new rigging—Will’s work—they eye with pride,
And they have quite a drawerful of other things beside—
Boxes of beads and sweeties, and many a top and ball,
Saved for the coming Christmas; and who’s to have them all?
Not their own merry playmates, bright girl and happy lad,
Who’ll meet for winter pastime like them well fed and clad.
No; children in close alleys, or the large workhouse near,
Our little friends—obeying Christ’s words—will please and cheer.
And their own Christmas pleasures will seem more glad and sweet
For knowing such poor neighbors enjoy for once a treat.