January: charms for the school-boy

When January bids the days unfold, The frost and snow increase the cold;
But new-year’s day and twelfth-cake night To young and old still yield delight.
From school released, the happy boy The skate and slide can now enjoy:
The expert skater proves his skill, By tracing figures out at will;
While humbler sliders now are seen To animate the wintry scene.

This month, the first of the new year, has, perhaps, as many charms for the school-boy as any other. New-year’s day, and twelfth-cake day, among others, sound particularly pleasant in his ear. But the holidays being over, Black Monday comes at last, and then he is the best off who has made proper use of his time.
Skating and sliding are healthy amusements, and are almost exclusively confined to this month; but unless great care be taken that the ice is very firm, and the water not deep, it is too often attended with danger.
Snow, which in this month usually falls in considerable quantity, serves as a warm covering to the plants on which it lies, and protects them from the frost, which would otherwise be likely to injure them.

(from The Months And The Seasons; Or, A Picture Of The Year, By J. Bishop, in the Children’s Collection)