Thursday, December 22, 2011

150--Years-Ago ---------- Merry Christmas 1861

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 24, 1861

Christmas week

Christmas in the Sunny South.
(Library of Congress)
          The holiday season is about commencing, and the usual anticipations are indulged by the juveniles. The annual visit of Santa Claus, they argue, cannot be prevented by the blockade, for he comes by a route over which no Lincolnites has dominion, and where no Yankee ship can sail. Christmas this year may lack somewhat of its accustomed merriment. Indeed, there are some who affect to believe that there should be none at all; that Christmas day should be no happier or better than any other day; that there should be no roast beef, nor plum pudding, nor egg- nogg, nor good cheer of any description — and all because we are in the midst of a war, and some of our dear friends are away in the camp or the field, and cannot sit down with us at the festive board. We think such persons mistake themselves; or, if they do not, we are sorry for them. Surely we may have our pleasures at home as heretofore, relieved though they may be of excess. We can pledge the cup of kindness to the boys far away, who will be all the happier for the good wishes and tender thoughts around the family hearthstone, for which the busy whirl and work of life but seldom leaves a pause. It is pleasant to remember the times which have been, and to gather up all the kindly memories lying with them. It is pleasant, by some word or act, to remind our absent friends that they are not forgotten; and there is something in the great and general holiday that summons back the spirits of those we love, and makes them to be present with us. We can therefore afford to be happy in the Christmas time, and we would advise none to restrict their enjoyment except by the bounds of decency and reason. There is no more harm now than heretofore in extending the old English greeting--

I wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year;
A pocket full of money
And a cellar full of beer!

          In our perambulations about the city we have noticed evidences of extensive preparations for Christmas. Housekeepers were uncommonly solicitous at yesterday's market about the size of the turkeys and the soundness of the eggs; the confectioners have been busy with holiday "fixins" for a week past; and the boys are securing all the pop-crackers they can lay their hands on, in spite of the high prices. It looks very much like everybody was going in for a gay old time; and we have no doubt that all who choose to get tipsy will do so, although the man who keeps right side up will have the least to regret after it is all over.

No comments: