Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Eve’

December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016

This is the sixth year we have shared stories on our Victorian Advent Blog.  As we have done since the beginning, on Christmas Eve, we share the classic poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, by Clement C. Moore, originally published in 1823.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

In just 24 days, Santa Claus will begin his busiest day of the year, delivering presents to children all around the world.  Scientists in the United States have calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.¹ Good thing he’s magic.

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December 24, 2015

December 24, 2015

This is the fifth year we have shared stories on our Victorian Advent Blog.  As we have done since the beginning, on Christmas Eve, we share the classic poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, by Clement C. Moore, originally published in 1823.  We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the housetop the coursers they flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

December 16, 2015

December 16, 2015

Letters to Santa Claus

Children wishing to write to Santa know to send the letters to Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0, his official mailing address, according to Canada Post.

However, in 1898, there seemed to be some confusion, but Canada Post made sure letters were delivered!

From the Evening Star, Saturday, December 17, 1898

A new element, that is, new for the present season, has just made its appearance in the postal service – a stream of correspondence to Santa Claus.  A very genial gentleman at the Toronto Post Office acts as a representative of the much adored Santa Claus, and to him the missives are taken daily, an no doubt they reach their intended destination.  The correspondence is not heavy enough to require the Post Master General, Mr. Mulock, to put on a special Santa Claus Staff, but the ardent youngsters of numerous Toronto homes give living evidence of their abiding faith in the Christmas eve visitant to indite their hopes and wishes to Father Christmas, and to confide their missives to the Canadian branch of Her Majesty’s postal department.

Curiously enough many of the letters are addressed to Santa Clause, Union Station, Toronto. Apparently  the children expect that he will come in modern style by train and receive his mail on his arrival there.  In the United States it is said that letters addressed to Santa Claus are not delivered, but are ruthlessly sent to the dead letter office.  I am able to give Toronto correspondents of Santa Claus the most positive assurance that such is not the course of the Canadian postal officials, who, on the contrary, deliver them in the liveliest  fashion.  The children not only have too much faith in the prerogatives of Santa Claus to register their letters, but they have the curious idea that letters with many old stamps will carry his letters; many even show that they assume that his letters travel free as they are not stamped at all.  Some of the writers either through over-anxiety, or a change of desire, write several letters to the old Saint.

While the letters are carefully addressed to the chosen abode of Santa Claus, they seldom bear the address of the sender.


If you write a letter to Santa today, be sure to include your return address so that Santa can write back to you!  Like in 1898, you do not need postage to send your letter along.

From Canada Post:

All letters to Santa should be mailed before December 16 to give Santa enough time to send a letter back. Postage is not required for letters to Santa – but encouraging proper addressing is a good learning experience for all. Santa’s address is:

Santa Claus
North Pole
Canada HOH OHO

 

So hurry and send those letters!

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

 

 

December 22, 2013

December 22, 2013

Christmas stockings!

In medieval times people across Europe celebrated St. Nicholas’s Day on December 6. In a number of northern European countries, folk traditions developed around the idea of St. Nicholas bringing treats to children on St. Nicholas Eve. Adults instructed children to leave their shoes by the fire that evening so that the saint could pop down the chimney and fill them up with fruit, nuts, and cookies. In some parts of Europe families substituted stockings for shoes. In Germany children began to hang stockings by the end of their beds on Christmas Eve so that the Christ child could fill them with treats. This stocking custom migrated to the United States, England, France and Italy during the nineteenth century.

December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013

A bit of history on Christmas ornaments! 

The earliest known Christmas ornaments were apples. The apples represented the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden . Later added to the tree was cherries in honor of the Virgin Mary. It wasn’t till 1605 that there was a detailed description of a seventeenth-century Christmas tree. According to the description, the ornaments would be roses made out of paper, apples , wafers, and decorations made of shiny bits of gold foil or sugar. A wide variety of ornaments made from food dangled from early German Christmas trees. The Germans hung glided nuts on their trees, and later, cookies.

Encyclopedia of Christmas by Tanya Gulevich 

Lamplight 009

December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

 December of 1865 

In December of 1865, the month was introduced as the skating season. Many ads would fill the papers advertising a new skating rink and skates for sale.

In the 1860s costs for the ladies differed from the costs for men, so throughout this time period an ice skating ticket for the ladies would be $1.50 where the cost for a gentleman would be $2.00.

During the earlier days of December many companies like Wood and Brothers, would gear their products towards ice skaters using headlines such as “prepare for the skating season”. As time carried on the advertisements would slowly change from using skating as a headline, to using Christmas as a headline, which usually began around December 12th.

In December of 1865 prices began to slightly increase. Fall and winter cloths which were once sold in 1864 for 95 cents per yard were now being sold for up to $ 1.00 per yard. Things in the year of 1865 had to some extent changed

December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013

 How Queen Victoria changed Christmas, 

Christmas was not always a time for children. There were games and parties and dances for the adults, but children were meant to be “seen and not heard.” When Queen Victoria came to the throne and started to indulge her children and include them in Christmas celebrations, a change started to occur all over Britain and North America. Families everywhere started to change the focus of Christmas from that of an adult celebration to one of a family celebration.

(Oshawa this week, November 30th , 2003)

December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

 Christmas illegal ? Christmas not a holiday

Some might be surprised to find out that in 1659 Massachusetts Bay Colony made Christmas illegal, anyone who feasted or celebrated in any way would be thrown in jail. However in 1681 this law was repealed. 189 years later, on June 26, 1870 US Congress finally declared Christmas a national holiday.

December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

The Russian Christmas legend of Babushka , 

Babushka was an old woman who lived alone in a house by the road. She had lived alone so long that her days and her thoughts were filled only with sweeping, dusting, cooking, spinning, and scrubbing. One evening she heard the sound of trumpets and men approaching on horseback. She paused for a moment, wondering who they could be. Suddenly she heard a knock on her door. Opening the door she discovered three noble men standing before her. They asked her if she’d like to come along to Bethlehem to find the child who has been born a king. She told them she couldn’t because she had a lot of work to do. After they had left Babushka regretted her decision, she packed up her things and went after the noble men. She never found the noble men or the baby king. Babushka never gave up. Every Epiphany Eve Babushka would search the homes in Russia and even if she didn’t find the Christ child she’d leave gifts for children.