Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Christmas Celebrations" by Abraham Lincoln

When you blog and visit the blogs of other people on the Internet you discover people are not really that different anywhere in the world.

I saw a version of Santa Claus yesterday in Texel in the Netherlands that I had not seen before. While the name came out something like Santa Claus, it was “Sinterklaas” and the costume was red and decorated in gold and the jolly giant wore a hat that was exactly like the one the Pope wears complete with a cross.

Around him, in the parade on the street, were costumed people, in royal blue garments, with faces painted black. I have no idea what that was all about but there were several white faces painted black in the parade?

People in Africa and Germany and England, and on the Riviera, complain about Christmas coming earlier and earlier every year. They think it is way too commercial and those in our country add that Christmas should not be in the stores before Thanksgiving, but it is. Well, I must agree that Christmas is all about selling inventory before the end of the year to avoid paying inventory taxes on it.

One person showed a Christmas parade his parents got to attend. It was an old black and white photo and the parade looked pretty extravagant to me.

In my reply to his blog post I mentioned that I never heard of any community having a Christmas parade before the War or during World War II.

I also mentioned that most people I knew didn’t have a Christmas tree in their homes. If they bought or exchanged gifts it was not something flaunted. The kids, who went back to school after Christmas, where I lived, wore their new “snow suit,” or boots, or gloves. I remember Barbara Caywood wore her new earmuffs and we all were shocked to see her without a sock hat pulled down over her ears.

Harleman’s had a tree with very large glass balls hanging on it and they also had candles but I never saw the candles burning. The grocery stores were like an old fashioned Wal-Mart, in that you could buy just about anything including boots, nails, and even a horse harness, but I never saw anything in either store related to Christmas. The post office never had Christmas stamps and I don’t think people had the money to send Christmas cards. I know we didn’t. Mother seemed to have a fit having to spend a penny for a post card to mail out to somebody.

We never had a tree and no decorations. In fact the only gift I got was an orange after dinner on Christmas day. My half sister didn’t even get that.

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