Saturday, December 22, 2018

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE PAST #Christmas #OldWestChristmas

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As we move into the Christmas Holiday season, many of us are feeling the 'stress' of getting everything done. For some, it's children, others family and friends and the rounds of parties, food, candy and presents. But what of those days of Christmas past? 

As many know, I love research and reading old newspapers. With a day job, my research sometimes has to take the back seat. So, for this post, I thought I'd share some stories I've found along the way.

In Lawrence, Kansas in 1874, the Christmas decorating may have gotten to be to much according to the following article. Imagine having to put a notice in the paper that you were not going to be able to have Christmas Eve services due to decorating. Still, I admire their dedication.

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Of course in the resort towns of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, things were a bit different in 1875. Things were spoken of and put on in a grand scale for citizens and visitors.

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Of course those in Helena, Montana seemed to have had a wonderful time in the year 1879,

I will leave you with probably one of my favorite Christmas stories. I've shared it before on other posts, but feel it needs to be repeated, for it has such a true feeling of the season.

In 1863 one family on the Arkansas river, up close to the cut off to what is now Monarch pass, had been cut off from others and the towns due to heavy fall snow storms that year.  They had been working their claim, even in the heart of winter. When Christmas arrived, they had plenty of food, but not much variety. One daughter, with the help of her siblings decided to bring out the good china brought from their home in Nebraska and serve up a feast of mock turkey made from beef and beans along with substitute coffee, made from browned bran. The parents were the guest of honor. 

Here's wishing everyone the best that the holiday season has to offer. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

And a couple of songs to listen to as you relax.

Oh Holy Night

Do You Hear What I Hear

And probably one of my all time favorites

Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Writing fiction as Angela Raines
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


  1. I always look forward to reading your articles and am never disappointed, Doris. I particularly loved the one about the evening service cancelled due to everyone too busy decorating the church. That's a first and I imagine there were some indignant people (who probably never thought of volunteering to help).Have a wonderful Merry Christmas, Doris.

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth, you've made my day. The early newspapers have so much information, once you get past the 'news' part.

      I can just imagine what life must have been like in those early years of creating a life in some of these new towns. I wish you a Merry Christmas also, and joys and new ventures in the New Year. Doris

  2. I think that first newspaper notice was a threat, don't you? If you don't help, there won't be a service. Good post.

  3. It could have been. I just thought it was so unique, I just had to share it.

    Thank you for your kind words and support. Doris


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