This collection of Christmas proverbs in various languages appeared in the December 26, 1868 issue of The Christian Recorder. This paper was “Published by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, for the Dissemination of Religion, Morality, Literature and Science.” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Christmas comes but once a year.” – A heart old proverb, indicating permission to go to full length in enjoyment. If the children scream more loudly than usual – if the boys and girls frolic more wildly, or paterfamilias purchase a present, a little too extravagant – never mind, pardon it for this time – “Christmas comes but once a year!” Forget and forgive, good folks, and we will forget and forgive in turn.
“Christmas is talked of so long, that it comes at last.” – An old Norman, French, and another cheerful proverb, full of the spirit of the season, meaning that, whatever trouble or darkness may intervene, light and joy will come at last. It is the same as “it’s a long lane that has no turn,” or “a fast day is the eve of a feast day.” Perhaps it may have the suspicion of an old superstition, that, if we only hammer and weary away at anything long enough, we bring it to pass. So, then “Talk of it, ere summer’s past, Christmas is sure to come at last.”
“After Christmas comes Lent.” – This is German. Nach Weihnachten kommt Fasten. This is a warning and solemn proverb, something like “it is dark under the lamp.” (more…)