Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmases Past and Present



The Library will be CLOSED Tuesday, December 24, Christmas Eve. and December 25, Christmas Day. We will reopen on the 26th


There will be no Computer Class this Saturday.



We've added a new list of other websites and a new RPL Blog on the bottom left. Cyndi's List has now added us to her list. We also have a blog on Movies and Music. "Check it out!"


There will be no posts for Tues. and Wed. (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) and limited posts the rest of the week. We will sorta be back to normal on Monday the 30th, minus New Year’s Day.







Genealogy tip for Today: Christmases Past


Since it’s Christmas time I thought we would talk about some customs of our ancestors. I’ve even lived long enough to see Christmas Tree fashions come and go. When I was a girl in the 50’s we always put “icicles” on the tree by hanging tinsel all over the branches. It made the tree sparkly and the lights even more colorful. There was also the proverbial debate of “throwing the icicles on” vs “hanging them carefully one at a time on each branch.”

Trees have gone through phases. There’s the real tree that the father or family go hunting for out in the woods. Some folks still do this or go to a tree farm. Or there is the tree that has already been cut. You just go to the store, bring home and put in a bucket of water. Artificial trees pretty much dominate the scene today.

The aluminum tree was one fad. I think I still have the color wheel that was put under such a tree. There was a bulb that would shine through one color and the colors would rotate over it giving the tree various bright colors. Today you can get artificial tree in all shapes and sizes, even colors; some you can set on the floor or table, some you can even mount on the wall for space saving!

In Victorian days, they used real candles on the trees, a custom that started in Germany. But soon it was realized the fire hazard that it became. So in its stead came the little bubbly lights that looked like candles. This way you could have candles and not the fire.

Yule logs were also popular a long time ago. One huge log would be pulled in and lit so that it would burn for days while the people celebrated the Christmas Holidays.

In more recent years, dated ornaments came along. Soon, one certain company began using your favorite characters for dated ornaments. Very large ribbon was popular in recent years and still is in some places. It was used to wrap the tree instead of using garland.

Speaking of garland, do you remember popping and stringing popcorn and sometimes cranberries on the trees? When I was a girl we would tie dry bread to the trees after Christmas and put it outside for the birds to have a Christmas treat.

I’ve seen changes in colors down through the years as well. Light green and pink became popular in the 90’s and 00’s. You can still find that some yet today. Jeweled colored ornaments, and now even black ornaments have been brought to market. Then there are the extremely large ornaments. Take your pick.

Here's another fad,
the ceramic tree.
Lights now come already on the tree; tiny white lights, or tiny colored lights. Lights that all blink off and on together or twinkle all over the tree. What a neat invention are the timers so we don’t have to bend over every time we want to turn them off or on.

Fads and Fashions come and go even for Christmas d├ęcor. But one thing remains the same – Christmas itself and why we celebrate. Whatever way you celebrate Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate, may you enjoy this season of peace and joy.



“History – it’s who we are; Genealogy – it’s who I am” sg




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