A wonderful photo ( ebay ), a small boy whose patriotic mother made him a tiny, military inspired outfit, a gifted drum and dear little be-ribboned hat make us 'sigh', how cute. There are several horrifying aspects to this photo- war is blood and death and suffering and mindless horror, not make-believe dress up- we 'sigh' anyway. And we only have images of our ancestors whose childhood was safe from want to 'sigh' over.
Not a long thread- but a reminder and an important one. Our image of " Victorian Christmas ", added to, eras mixed, co-mingled, inexact and wildly inaccurate in spots can indeed be delightful. ' It ' was probably not exactly how we...
On Christmas Eve in 1818, two men with a small guitar entered a church in Oberndorf, Austria, and prepared to sing a new Christmas carol.
Times had been bad in Oberndorf, where many people worked on the water, manning the salt barges that plied the Salzach River. The upheaval in central Europe caused by the Napoleonic Wars had just ended.
And only two years before, the dreadfully dark summer of 1816 — later blamed on ash from a volcanic eruption in Indonesia — had caused famine and...
Christmas during the Civil War served both as an escape from, and a reminder of, the awful conflict rending the country in two. Soldiers looked forward to a day of rest and relative relaxation, but had their moods tempered by the thought of separation from their loved ones. At home, families did their best to celebrate the holiday, but wondered when the vacant chair would again be filled.
Civil War soldiers in camp and their families at home drew comfort from the same sorts of traditions that characterize Christmas today. Alfred Bellard of the 5th New Jersey noted, “In order to make it look much like Christmas as possible, a small tree was stuck up in...
Taken from an 1863 Nast spread for Harper's, Keeping Christmas in the era looks fairly familiar. Tree, family, toys children and Joy galore- Father Christmas has morphed into Santa in another section of the page, the feast into Christmas dinner and Christmas greens entwine the whole. Christmas, kept.
Dad always said ' The Civil War was yesterday '. Not as baffling a statement as you'd think considering we're only a few generations post war. What seem huge changes between the war years and 2018 were really a slow roll into an ancestor's tomorrow, incremental, societal shifts only notable because they've been glued end-to-end...
Must say this is new to me, both the tradition and the Civil War story as one of the potential beginnings of the tradition.
First, the tradition:
" What is the Christmas Pickle tradition?
It’s an ornament shaped like a pickle that families treat as a game. On Christmas Eve, parents hide the ornament deep on the tree branches. The tree’s pine needles camouflage the green pickle, making it especially hard to find.
On Christmas morning, the first kid to find the pickle is rewarded. Some families let the person who discovered the pickle open the first present. Others have a special gift that goes to the pickle-finder. It’s...
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The American Civil War
The American Civil War, arguably the most traumatic event in the history of the United States, was fought from 1861 to 1865, and was the culmination of sectional issues which deeply divided the country between a pro-Federal government North and a pro-states rights, in the pro-slavery South, whose eleven states formed a breakaway government called the Confederate States of America. The costliest war in terms of human lives, the American Civil War claimed in excess of 620,000 battle or disease-related deaths - roughly two percent of the country's total population, and nearly more deaths than all other American wars combined.