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Here and there a hard beaded, unroman- tic, unsentimental, utilitarian, w hat-does-it prove ? asking-person may want to know what all the fuss about Christmas tide is made for, but that sort of persons will be for a long time to come in an unmistakable minority. The multitude go ia for holidays and ali their old-fashioned accompaniments. Difference in climate will affect in some particular the development of the passion, but spend itself it will as well here as at home, as well in " farthest Ind" as on the " icc bound shores" of Hudson's Bay. The Britisher goes ia thea wherever he is for the holk'ay, and doesn't care to answer very precisely to the interrogations of those who ask the cost or the wherefore of the thing. He eats plumpudding, as did his fathers be- fore him, and devoutly believes his children will do so after him that is per favor of the local boards of health, with- out whom, and very likely with whom, he may have to bury his children

before he himself succumbs. A saunter about Ballarat on Christmas eve, or a glance at the bill- poster's places for out of doors paperhanging, or a perusal of the advertise- ments in the newspapers, will suffice to cer- tify any one that Ballarat and its depend- encies are right orthodox in tba matter of Christmas jollification. We, who are sup- posed to be everywhere, and see everything, and know something about everything, have of course taken a peep at what is goiug to happen as well as at what has happened in connection with this time-honored season of eating and driuking a¡¡d universal pleasure making. And having so done it behoves us to tell our readers about it. In thc first place we must mention the out of doors look of the town and its shops. As early as Saturday there were visible symptoms of what was coming. Grocer's shops here and there looked as similar places looked of old in the old country. Their windows were full of nicely displayed raisins and currants, and candied peel, and spices, and jams, and jellies, heaps of all tliat was Christmasly tempting to juveniles, and mayhap to adults as well, were wantonly exposed to make people long for, to hesitate, and thea to be lost in the very deed of purchasing. Fruiterers were equally wicked. Nay, we are not sure they were not more to blame. They spread forth a maze pf fascinating edibles piled up iu carelessness of wealthy profusion, or carefully arranged in Kaleidoscopic figures, they got together their oranges, plums, cherries, apricots, pears, apples, gooseber- ries, currants, raisins, almonds, preserves, and what besides we don't remember; while cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, onions, leeks, beet, potatoes, and so forth, drew us nearer in j ustatory imaginings to the *'roast beef of old England" of memory glorious. The butchers too were in the conspiracy of course. Great barons of beef and little sucking baronets (we may as well create a title as not) of pork were set out with mut- tons as fat as the squatters that bred them, and fully as suggestive of good things in pastoral life as the most uuctuous speech of the most brazen of Eastern market orators. The poulterers also were of the coalitioa, and the fishmongers were every bit as bad. What Noah's arks of turkeys, cocks and hens, geese, ducks, pigeons, aye and rabbits and other animals ! At one place in the Main road-for the old Main road still keeps to the fore in this respect at all events-we saw a rare seasonable tableau -

The cooped-up ornithological, icthyologieal, and mammalian wonders, at that one place, had drawn together a crowd of gazers. Quiet, ruminative, pleased with a carni- vorous foretaste of what was possible in the coming Christmas time, they all criticised the exhibits. One or two miners in clean

shirt-sleeves and red waistbands, eloquent of the " palmy days," one or two of thu " ahiioud-eyed," placid as lotus-eaters where 'tis always afternoon, one or two women, with a spice of kitchen consequence about their faces, one or t\ro " Bedouins," hungry and voluble, and ona vacant-looking police- man, made up the group of inspection. AU the exhibits there were discussed as to qua- lity. Great snake-like eels in a square water tank, fishes of many sorts on the slip- pery board alongside, anl beyond and above and beneath the crowded fowls and beasts already mentioned. How long the group remained, or how soon they were replaced by another equally interested, we did not wait to see. We took this as only a sample of tiie sights the Main road presented in its shop attractions on Christmas eve. Shop after 6hop, hotel after hotel, were hung with evergreens, wattle and gum mingling their odorous branches, and converting some part of the Maia road into a bough-ery walk. And the placards about thc wall f were terribly ominous of hard fights to b « fought by table and field. Host Symons ot the Charlie Napier declares for a monster pudding, and draws a great picture of it too. A thing about as big as Mount War- renheip, and full of plums, currants, lemon peel, spice, urandy, and slippery nodules ol suetty fat. And this, gentle reader, gratis " for the mUIion." We picture to ourselves the mighty hosts of plum-pudding patrons that will Ide this day to the Charlie. What rivers of nobblers mast flow to qualify that rich " duff," and what jolly fun there will be over the scramble for this paragon ol puddings ! But the Napier is not to be alone in its glory. Our advertising columns make alimentary revelations equally or more attractive. We cannot wait to par- ticularize, hut every restaurant aud eatiug house opens wide its gates to-day, aud invites to the most luscious viands at the "most reasonable prices." And then to- morrow-Boxing-day -what wonders in thc way of entertainments everywhere. Al Buninyong, on Wednesday, the Highland Society will give their series of feats ol strength, and show all the power and all thc

endurance of the sons of " Caledonia stern and wild." At the Star Hotel wrestling in the Cumberland and Cornish and some other style, some twenty standards being cast for the struggle. The first prize is JE10, a band will Ix in attendance, and all arrangements ari to be perfect. At the Hed Lion Hotel wrestling in the Cornish and Devon style has also been, and will be, the order of - tm

day. "The first prize is £4, and on Boxing Day the sports will be wound up with a "dancing match,'' Ai the Copenhagen

j Grounds there is to be a very world of fun -racing, sack-racing, climbing the greasy pole, catching the pig with a greasy taiL cutting off* the cock's head (wbate ver sport there may be - in that leaping, vaulting, quoiting; football-whengb ! - we are obliged to stop for want of breath. Then there is the higher class of entertainments-those of the charitable or quasi-charitable, and the intellectual spectacular or spectacular-intel-' lectual-the bazaar and the burlesque The Mechanics' Bazaar will open to-morrow, and the large new hall will be a fairy palaca of enchantment, where all sorts of witch and wizard craft will be practised upon innocent or submissive people, mostly of the masculine gender of course. We have had a peep at the preparations for this grand gal hering of " the ladies of Ballarat," and their works of thrifty needles. There will be a Post Office and a flower stall, and a fountain, and a real live menagerie with bears and cock- atoos, and we don't know what else, and stalls every where heaped with the usual utilities and inutiiities got together at bazaars. The stalls are gothic arches *. turned up " witb '- the red, white and blue" calicoes obtainable at the drapers. Flags and evergreens depend from the ceiling, and the entrance to the building is through an avenue of boughs. At tbe Theatre Boyal there will be a gorgeously got np extrava- ganza burlesque entitled " Pluto and Pros- erpine" We have hada peep at this too for as we said before, we go everywhere and see everything.-The extravaganza at the lioyal then is one of the very best things of the kind we have witnessed. There was a full dress rehearsal last night, and we have still floating before our eyes tbe be- wildering fairy scenes, and still lingering in our ears the delicious music The whole thing is a triumph qi splendours in scenery and in costumes, in colored lights and transformations; while pun and fun, and singing and dancing, gods and goddesses, angels and fairies, and all their pretty plots and peccadilloes, make upa glorious ensemble of attractions that will be sure to fascinate both young and old. At the Charlie Napier, Boxing Night will be celebrated by the pre- sentation of " Castle Squander."

With these, and tbe other unmentioned novelties got ready, weare sure the Ballarat citizens and their country neighbors will have no lack of entertainment. Let us hope they wiil choose wisely, and enjoy temperately what they choose. And so we make our bow, and retire for our Christmas


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