And the Angel said to them, "Be not afraid, For behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." - Luke 2:10,11
PLYMOUTH COLONY RECORDS - 1620
"...but the skipper of the Mayflower, an Englishman who was not a pilgrim, and believed in the traditional cheerful ways of observing Christmas, broke out a barrel of the ships beer and invited the Pilgrims to share It. which they did most gladly. The men left on shore had no beer and complained bitterly."
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH - JAMESTOWN, VA. - Christmas Day 1607
"The extreme winds, rayne, frost and snow caused us to keep Christmas among the savages where we were never more merry, nor fed on more plenty of good Oysters, Fish, Flesh, Wild Fowl and good bread, nor ever had better fires in England."
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK - KENTUCKY - Christmas Day 1777
"There were venison, and bear, and rabbit, and turkey, and coon, and buffalo meate, prepared in different ways. There was hominy, boiled and fried; there were milk and butter and home made cheese. But the best dish of the day were a possum baked hole. It hung by its tail on a stick of wood in the center of the table, and every one present had a piece of it."
LEWIS AND CLARK - Oregon Territory - Christmas Day l805 from Clark’s Journal
"After brackfast we divided our Tobacco...to those who doe not use it we make a present of a handkerchief. The Indians leave us in the evening. I recved a present of Cap. L. of fleece hosrie, Shirt Draws and Socks, a pr. Mockersons of Whitehouse...two Dozen white weazils tails of the Indian woman, & some black root of the Indians before their departure. The day proved Showerey wet and disagreeable.
we would have Spent this day the nativity of Christ in feasting, had we any thing either to raise our Sperits or even gratify our appetites, our Diner concisted of pore Elk, so much Spoiled that we eate it thro' mear necessity, Some Spoiled pounded fish and a fiew roots."
U. S. GRANT 1866 - regarding eggnog
"The eggs are far better cooked. Why anyone should want to mix anything, even eggs, with a palatable spirit is beyond my conception."
MARK CARR - FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE SALESMAN - 1851
"...in the Catskills, Cut down two sled-loads of fir and spruce, and hauled them to New York City. There he rented a strip of sidewalk at the corner of Vesey and Greenwich Streets for one dollar. To his delight the project was tremendously successful. But he returned home broke, having spent his earnings on cheerful living."
ZEBULON M. PIKE - COLORADO TERRITORY - Christmas Day 1811
"the arrapaho cheefs He seet before us a dish of fat meat of Which We Eat plentyfully." The "Cheef" then announced that the Christmas dinner had been a dog.
COTTON MATHER - CHRISTMAS DAY SERMON - New England 1711
"I hear a Number of people of both sexes, belonging many of them to my flock, have had on the Christmas Eve night, a frolik, a revelling Feast, and a Ball, which discovers their corruption, and has a tendency to corrupt them yett more, The birth of our Savior shall not be marked by mirth and by long eating."
WILLIAM ROSS YOUNG - NORTH CAROLINA FARMER - 1932 who killed hogs on Christmas Day
"For several weeks after hog killing the women of the house - my wife, her two maiden sisters, who are permanent guests, and her cousin, there for a ‘little visit’ of six or seven months, worked on preparing the hogs."
THEODORE ROOSEVELT - on Christmas Trees
Teddy Roosevelt had a strong feeling against the use of evergreens For Christmas trees. A convinced conservationist, he believed that slashing down so many growths would sadly injure the American forests. There would be no Christmas tree in the White House, he let friends know. And his face reddened angrily when he learned that two of his boys had slipped a tree into their rooms.
Their father thundered and the youths called on Gilford Pinchot, the ardent conservation authority and a close friend of the President, who pointed out the cutting of evergreens would nor destroy forests but actually aid them. Convinced, Roosevelt nodded, and the tree stayed.
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE - PETERSBURG, VA. - CHRISTMAS DAY 1865 on receiving a barrel of about a dozen turkeys
The Confederate commander stared down at the fine display and touched the biggest bird with his sword. "This, then, is my turkey? I don't know, gentlemen, what you are going to do with your turkeys, but I wish mine sent to the hospital at Petersburg."
So saying, Robert E. Lee went to his horse and rode off. One of the hungry officers ends the story: "We looked at one another for a moment, and then without a word replaced the turkeys in the barrel and sent them to the hospital."
ISABEL MAURY - RICHMOND, VA - 1864
"Saturday before Christmas we were all busy preparing a tree for the Children; it was beautiful. On the top were two flags, our Confederate and our Battle Flag. Gen. Lee, bless his soul, was hung immediately below...About three hundred invitations were circulated (verbal): you know we Confederates cannot afford cards...My only objection to the holidays is that the Yankees not only do it, but abuse the custom, and I want to do entirely different from them. We are a distinct and separate nation, and I wish our customs to be as distinct as we are."
GOUVERNEUR MORRIS- Philadelphia- Christmas Day Reception 1789
Morris, the president’s friend, accepted a bet to "take a liberty with the chief." Bravely, Morris clapped Washington on the shoulder. "The chief turned and gave a look of such mild and dignified yet grieved surprise, that I shrank back repentant of my forgetfulness of respect, while the mirth of the company was instantly awed into silence."
BOSTON ENTERTAINMENT - Christmas Day 1845
LYCEUM - Ralph Waldo Emerson, lecture on the mystic Swedenborg.
MEL ODEON HALL - Handel’s "The Messiah"; tickets 50 cents
FANUEIL HALL - National Anti-Slavery Bazaar
BOSTON MUSEUM - Cinderella; tickets 25 cents