Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Remembers "Ought it not be a Merry Christmas?" - Dec. 25th, 2005
Posted on 12/24/2005 9:08:05 PM PST by SAMWolf
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
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Holiday observances during the American Civil War
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Lonely camp scene from an 1862 Harper's Weekly entitled "Christmas Eve".
Even with all the sorrow that hangs, and will forever hang, over so many households; even while war still rages; even while there are serious questions yet to be settled - ought it not to be, and is it not, a merry Christmas?"
Harper's Weekly, December 26, 1863
Harper's Weekly depicts a family separated by war in its January 3,1863 edition.
For a nation torn by civil war, Christmas in the 1860s was observed with conflicting emotions. Nineteenth-century Americans embraced Christmas with all the Victorian trappings that had moved the holiday from the private and religious realm to a public celebration. Christmas cards were in vogue, carol singing was common in public venues, and greenery festooned communities north and south. Christmas trees stood in places of honor in many homes, and a mirthful poem about the jolly old elf who delivered toys to well-behaved children captivated Americans on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.
But Christmas also made the heartache for lost loved ones more acute. As the Civil War dragged on, deprivation replaced bounteous repasts and familiar faces were missing from the family dinner table. Soldiers used to "bringing in the tree" and caroling in church were instead scavenging for firewood and singing drinking songs around the campfire. And so the holiday celebration most associated with family and home was a contradiction. It was a joyful, sad, religious, boisterous, and subdued event.
"The Christmas Tree" by F. A. Chapman.
Many of the holiday customs we associate with Christmas today were familiar to 1840s celebrants. Christmas cards were popularized that decade and Christmas trees were a stylish addition to the parlor. By the 1850s, Americans were singing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," and "Away in a Manger" in public settings. In 1850 and 1860, Godey's Lady's Book featured Queen Victoria's tabletop Christmas tree, placed there by her German husband Prince Albert. Closer to home, in December, 1853, Robert E. Lee's daughter recorded in her diary that her father - then superintendent at West Point - possessed an evergreen tree decorated with dried and sugared fruit, popcorn, ribbon, spun glass ornaments, and silver foil.
Clement Clarke Moore, a religious scholar who for decades was too embarrassed to claim authorship of the 1822 poem, "A Visit From St. Nicholas," was now well-known for his tribute to Santa Claus. "Santa Claus" made his first public appearance in a Philadelphia department store in 1849, marking the advent of holiday commercialism.
For enslaved African Americans, the Christmas season often meant a mighty bustle of cooking, housekeeping, and other chores. "Reward" for these efforts was a suspension of duties for a day or two and the opportunity for singing, dancing, and possible brief reunions with separated family members. Further gestures of "goodwill" by masters who saw themselves as benevolent owners were small and the semi-annual clothing allotment.
By 1860, many worried about civil unrest, fearful this Christmas would be the last before the outbreak of war. An Arkansas diarist writes:
"Christmas has come around in the circle of time, but is not a day of rejoicing. Some of the usual ceremonies are going on, but there is gloom on the thoughts and countenances of all the better portion of our people."
Merry Christmas, Don,W.
Merry Christmas from Oregon, E.G.C.
Merry Christmas, Brad's Gramma
Merry Christmas,texianyankee. We're glad to have you share a foxhole with us. :-)
Merry Christmas, GailA. Thanks for the link.
The myth of the "noble savage" was born because honesty and courage is overrun by vulgarity and evil but humans must have been different sometime, right? Even this seemingly innocent hope led us to Liberalism, Socialism, and to Communism. Wretches, miserable, dirty, lying wretches.
Flopping helplessly in despair like a fish out of water and like that fish close to death, dying, and soon dead my struggle is unavailing, hopeless. Then suddenly He is here, here for me, shining his light, dispelling the darkness and the endless whispering of the Lord of the Flies.
Christ is born. The Lord is with us. With His Grace He has come to save us from Satan's power, from the glamor of evil.
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Merry Christmas, everybody. "God bless us, every one."
God Bless Our Troops!
The Christmas Manger Scene..........God Has A SON!
1st Timothy 3:6....Micah 5:2......1st Cornthians 15:1-4......Acts 16:31....John 3:16
'Narnia'= 1st Peter 5:8
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH to ALL of OUR TROOPS!
GOD BLESS AMERICA and our COMMANDER and CHIEF!
Thank you for the kind words there DonW. However I should point out that the Pigeon Pad Testers are our grandkids :-)
Of course the nice thing about grandkids is that you get to send them home at the end of the day :-)
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year
Merry Christmas to you Ms. Feather
Hope the Chipmunks are especially tasty this Christmas :-)
Iris, I know you and many others who would lay down there life for another and God is much more wonderful than us mere humans he made in his image. He loves us because he knows our hearts, regardless of the fact our deeds may not meet the standard he'd like for us.
The thanks should come from us. The Foxhole would be silent without our readers and posters.
You are always welcome.
lol. Merry Christmas EGC. Did you think we forgot where you were?
Awww. They are adorable. Reminds me of my little Raggedy Ann I had as a child, had Andy, too!
Merry Christmas to the alfa6 family.
Hey radu. Merry Christmas to you and hubby and all the critters.
Merry Christmas feather.
Merry Christmas Victoria.
A very Merry Christmas to everyone at the Foxhole!
Merry Christmas Don.
Thanks for the link Gail and Merry Christmas.