I was present at the introduction into the new country of the spectacle of the German Christmas-tree. My little friend Charley and three companions had been long preparing for this pretty show. The cook had broken her eggs carefully in the middle for some weeks past, that Charley might have the shells for cups; and these cups were gilded and coloured very prettily. I rather think it was, generally speaking, a secret out of the house; but I knew what to expect. It was a Newyear’s tree, however; for I could not go on Christmas-eve, and it was kindly settled that New-year’s-eve would do as well. More
Christmas Storms and Sunshine, a very early work of Elizabeth Gaskell, was first published in Howitt's Journal on January 1, 1848. The illness of the baby in the story is based upon her own experience with her daughter, Marianne. At the end of the year in which this little story appeared Gaskell's first novel Mary Barton was published.