Cabbages and Kings

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Hoss-Hoss

"Ooo, mommy, look at the t'ree hoss-hoss," a little boy said, pulling a wire whch guarded the Nativity Scene on the Boston Common. "No, Jimmy, for the last time--they're camels bringing Wise men to Jesus." "No, mommy, they isn't. T'ree hoss-hoss, hoss-hoss," he wailed, tugging at the wire.

Seven bells boomed from Christ Church on Tremont Street, announcing the opening of evening ceremonies. At the Band stand, voices of the Glee Club of Malden High School, one of the 108 singing groups participating in the special three week program, filled the air with "Silent Night." Planned by the City of Boston Festivities Committee, this was one of many concerts given from 12 until 2 and until 7 until 9 every day on the Common. Inside, Master of Ceremonies Leo Hines was instructing various groups which wandered in. "We're singing over 2,000 hymns and chorals until January 6," he said, "in over 30 languages. As a matter of fact, Harvard sung the other day until they were rained out." This afternoon, the Committee is featuring the St. Williams CYO Band on the City Hall Plaza. "They'll all be dressed as the Pifferari and playing bagpipes...or at least they sound like clarinets. It's an old Italian custom. Also a Bavarian rite of lighting four candles, one each week of advent. The mayor lights them; really great to see. The Camp Edwards Choral Arts Society will sing at that one. We even have Mme. Melba McCreery with a group of church soloists in the evening. She sang over forty times at La Scala."

Outside, people pressed their noses against the glass. A few yards from the gayly lighted band stand, children pranced about a set of reindeer. "That one's Rudolph." "No it ain't. It's Prancer. HE don't have a red nose."

"Lemme ride on de waindeer, mamma, I wanna go fo ride." "Look, honey," said his weary mother, tugging at his scarf, "how many times do I haf to tell ya. This is no circus, it's...well, it's Christmas."

At this point, a record blared over the loud-speakers, "We're poor little sheep who have lost our way." "Bah," said a little tot, "bah."