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This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

December 02, 1962 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TIME OF FANTASY:
Children Find Delight in Holiday World

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Rates High on Gift Lists

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Santa Symbolizes
Idealized Father
By MARTHA MacNEAL
The psychological basis of the
figure of Jolly Old Nick has been
pretty well summed up in the
popular song, "I Saw Mommy
Kissin' Santa Claus"-he is a
father symbol.
Santa Claus is the miraculous
provider of untold wealth and
wonder from a mysterious world
out there that the child can
hardly imagine, although he has
fun trying. The North Pole is
equally far away and as strange
as that unfathomable somewhere
that swallows up Father for most
of the day. And surely the images
of frosty ice-palaces and busy
elf-ridden workshops full of bright
toys is far more intelligible to the
vivid mind of a child than are
father's oddly dull answers to the
question: "Daddy, what do you
do?"
Santa does the kind of work
that father ought to do, and some-
how must do, by the logic of child-
hood.
Moral Figure
Santa Claus, also like father, is
a moral figure, whose approba-
tion is held out, perhaps unfor-
tunately, in the form of material
treasures. However, the child must
be permitted to keep the light-
heartedness of Christmas for a
while, before the inevitable ser-
iousness of growing up; and thus
the Christmas profusion of toys
cannot be wholly condemned.
The child is told that if he is
good, Santa will bring him pres-
ents; and if he is bad, Santa will

"NOW LET'S SEE ... what shall I ask Santa to bring me this
year? I'm really tired of Betsy-Wetsy dolls and Wyatt Earp squirt

guns. Maybe if I'm really good
bring me an actual scale model
anti-missile missiles."

between now and Dec. 25, he'll
space launching platform with

.,

leave only coal in his stocking.
But on Christmas morning there
are always toys; and the child
enjoys a moment of unquestioned
approval, no matter what his sins.
We all need that now and then.
It has been said that children
who grow up loving their fathers
will love God. Whether this is true
or not, Santa remains something
of a God-like figure on the child-
ish level. He is petitioned, albeit
by letter rather than prayer; he
dispenses rewards for good be-
havior; and he performs amazing
miracles out of thin air.
All of these, then, help to sus-

tain the child's woild of wonder
and essentially self-created im-
agery.
But, inevitably, as a world of
inescapably less wonderful reali-
ties begins to dawn on the child,
there comes that moment dreaded
by parents, when he looks up and
asks on the verge of tears, "Is
there really a Santa Claus?"
And so the parent attempts to
soften the blow by telling his
trusting offspring that Santa is
symbolic of the spirit of giving,
and that symbols are real in their
own way. But something of child-
hood has passed forever.

Youngsters Give
Christmas Views
By BARBARA SCHWARTZ
How is Christmas seen through
the eyes of children?
A group of four-year-olds at a
local nursery school gave their
views on Christmas and its vari-
ous aspects, and came up with
some interesting variations on the
traditional holiday themes.
To these children Christmas
means toys, a fat man with a
beard, fantasies of roller skates,
the North Pole and snow.
They all agreed that only good
little boys and girls get a visit
from Santa. One child didn't ex-
pect any presents and admitted
frankly, "No, I haven't been too
good this year!"
Another little boy added appre-
hensively, "I hope I've been good!"
Before another child had a chance
to answer, his buddy piped up,
"No, he hasn't been good at all!"
Map Needed
One little girl's lament was that
Santa Claus didn't know where
her house is.
Why does Santa have a beard?
The answer was, "To hide from
the little children."
A blond-haired child with two
dimples said that Santa Claus
comes from the land of the seals
and the ice and the walruses. This
was later clarified as 'the North
Pole.
Spectrum of Gifts
The perennial question "What
do you want for Christmas?" was
answered by the girls with a spec-
trum of desires from Dino the
Dinosaur or a 'Thumbelina Doll to
a Mickey Mouse Watch and roller
skates. The boys unanimously de-
cided that they wanted machine
guns this year.
The consensus was that Santa
Claus is fat and comes down the
chimney on a ladder. But one boy
dissented, claiming Santa Claus
sneaks through the key-hole.
One girl, when asked who helps
Santa in his big task of making
toys, replied, "Why, his mother, of
course."
"Santa is at. least 9 years old,"
insisted a little boy. But a little
girl said no, she was sure that
Santa is exactly 41 years old.

By WILLIAM BENOIT

Tradition and the best-seller list
are probably the strongest in-
fluences determining what the
Christmas-book shopper will buy
for the people on his gift list,
campus bookstore owners agree.
Adults like to buy for their
children the same books they read
as youngsters. The best seller list
provides an easy guide to what
friends will enjoy reading, not
only at Christmas time, but
throughout the year.
More non-fiction than fiction
booksnare sold during the holiday
season than fiction. Books illus-
trated, either with photographs
or drawings, are popular at yule-
tide.
Children's Books
Children's books hold a special
charm for adults and children
alike. Here again the trend at
Christmas time is to stay with
tradition and books that were
popular generations ago.
Winnie the Pooh, an indisput-
able classic, is still big with young-
sters and oldsters alike. Parents
read about the mythical adven-
tures of Winnie with as much en-
joyment as their children.
Alfred Hitchcock has written a
book of spooky stories for little
tots. The book was timed to coin-
cide with the holiday season and
contains eleven ghostly tales de-
'U' Choir Sets
Yule Concert
The 200-voice University Choir
and the University Symphony Or-
chestra, both under the leadership
of Maynard Klein, will present
their annual Christmas concert at
8:30 p.m., Dec. 18, in Hill Aud.
Opening the grog:.atm will be
the "Gloria in G" by Francis Pou-
lenc in its Ann Arbor premiere.
Elisabeth Olsen will be the so-
prano soloist, with Charles Schae-
fer as the guest organist.
Following the intermission, the
choir and orchestra will perform
the "Mass in C Minor," K. 427
("The Great"), by Mozart. The
featured soloists are soprano Mar-
jorie Gordon of the Detroit Opera
Association, soprano Jane Pieper,
'63M, tenor James Miller, Grad,
and bass Leslie Breidenthal, Grad.

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Events Enliven Vacation
For Foreign Students

signed to frighten the youngster
gently.
Dr. Seuss
That master of the absurd, Dr.
Seuss, has written more books,
and more books, and more books,
and more books, and seems to
have gained immortality in the
literature of the young.
,Although humor is popular in
literature during Christmas, adults
also buy educational volumes to
put under the tree for their child-
ren. Books on the Civil War, na-
ture study, and our American heri-
tage are sold in increasing num-
bers.
Gospels Set
Basic Themes
of Later Ages
By JOHN BRYANT
Christmas, because of its reli-
gious and social nature, has been
the subject of a good deal of
literature by authors, both world-
renowned and unknown.
The first literature of Christmas
lies in the Bible in the Books of
Matthew and Luke.
From the Book of Matthew we
learn the story of the wise men
and the flight to Egypt, but we
hear nothing of the birth in the
manger or the shepherds.
Luke, on the other hand, makes
no mention of the wise men but
tells us of Jesus' birth in the man-
ger and of the shepherd's visit.
From these two basic stories the
modern "Christmas Story" has
evolved. Other additions to the
basic story have originated from
story-tellers and balladiersof
mediev times.
Anoth r product of medieval Eu-
rope - England in particular - is
the Christmas carol. Carols origi-
nally were sung for other holidays
also and were often part of reli-
gious dramas.
Christmas Carols
The English carol, which reached
its highest popularity during the
15th century, featured a regular
rhythm and a recurrent refrain.
These carols faded in popularity
and in 1822 one observer predicted
that they would be extinct within
a few years.
However, a book called "Carols
for Christmastide," which set old
carols to new lyrics, started carols
on the way back to the position
they hold today.
Oddly enough, songs such as
"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
and the wassail songs originally
were not Christmas songs at all.
They are products of pagan festi-
vals celebrating the new year.
Although a great deal of Christ-
mas fiction has accumulated in
the last two centuries, Dickens'
"Christmas Carol" is probably the
most popular of the modern
Christmas writings.
However, this story emphasizing
charity and good will is not Dick-
ens' only Christmas tale, as he
describes Mr. Pickwick's Christ-
mas in "The Pickwick Papers."
Modern Stories
Modern writers have not been
idle in writing Christmas stories,
either. "The Little Girl in the
Yellow Dress" and "The Littlest
Angel" are examples of contem-
porary Christmas literature.
In poetry, Christmas has been
the subject of poems by such noted
poets as Longfellow, James Russell
Lowell, Christina Rosetti, Swin-
burne, and Whittier.
Even Tennyson devoted several
stanzas of "In Memoriam" to de-
scribing the bells of four neigh-
boring villages which tolled out
"Peace and goodwill, to all man-
kind."
A large amount of Christmas
literature is published each year;
most of it, for obvious reasons, in
December. For as long as Christ-
mas is celebrated as it is now,
writers will continue to write
about it.

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it's yours for no more than $199.50.
OPEN MONDAY AND FRIDAY EVENINGS UNTIL 9 P.M.

By TOM CREECY
All but a few of the University's
1,410 foreign students will spend
this Christmas away from home.
To help dispel the anticipated
feelings of gloom, the Internation-
al Center and the Ann Arbor Ecu-
menical Center have arranged sev-
eral strong diversions.
The International Center has
planned a thirteen-day bus tour of
the Eastern United States. To be
called "Holiday Through Ameri-
can History," the tour will pre-
sent America via an historic per-
spective. Tour members are to see
Jamestown, Williamsburg, Gettys-
burg, historic spots of New York
City and Washington, D.C. - in-
cluding special tours of the White
House and Capitol Buildings-all
for $100.
The Ecumenical Center will fol-
low the same Christmas cheer-in-
stilling plan it has in previous
years; it will arrange for the 60 or
so foreign students who registered
for the plan-and who, surpris-
ingly, have been mainly -non-
Christians-to live with American
families over the holidays. The
hospitable families chosen reside
in three or four small Michigan
towns. The Michigan Alumni
Council has a sirhilar plan; alumni
also invite interested foreign stu-
dents to their own homes.

Some of the remaining students
who are grabbed up by unaffiliat-
ed families who do so out of a
combination of Christmas season
good-will, and comme il faut, out of
year-round human curiosity.
.Many of our more intrepid f or-
eign students make their Weih-
nachten merrier by touring some
big U.S. cities on their own-Chi-
cago, Washington, and New York
being the most popular. In these
three cities, visiting pundits may
make use of the organized sight-
seeing trips and social gatherings
of the Chicago Holiday Center,
Foreign Student Service Council
and Midtown International Center,
respectively.
Those who are slightly less in-
trepid may take advantage of VIS-
IT-Ventures for International
Students Interested in Travel;
they- may still plan their own itin-
erary, supply their own mode of
travel, and let VISIT arrange for
American Family Hospitality at,
their pre-registered desinations.
For the remainder-those who
stay in Ann Arbor-there are mo-
vies, studies, and the free time
they've all been wanting; but, to
quote a Hong Kong native who
will soon spend his third Christ-,
mas away from home, "it's lonely,
very lonely!"

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