Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Glimpse of Christmas Past

A Victorian Christmas party must have been a wonder to behold…what would we give for more candid photographs from times like that!


The best glimpses we can get, if we’re lucky enough, are those drawn up by a talented hand or written by a thoughtful, observant one…

I’m lucky enough to have a written glimpse of  one certain homey Christmas of 1876.

hpqscan0002_edited-1 {Ida at age 16.  I’m realizing that I resemble Ida quite a bit}

My great-great grandmother, Ida was just sixteen years old at the time.  Auburn-haired and vivacious, she was well-loved by all…

Work was hard, pleasures were few and far between—but more joy was taken in simple things.  Friends & family gathered, good food prepared, lively music played, good conversation had  by all—these were the best of times.


While living in southern Utah—very rough and just forming it’s settlements at the time—a Christmas gathering was recorded.  Just one paragraph, but it gives us a glimpse, just the same…

“At Christmas, so many of our associates traveled to be with us….and such an amount of fun and merriment we had!  Uncle Joe’s folks took the bed from their largest room and we danced, played games, recited, sang, had step dancing, etc. every evening, and Christmas Eve, we spent nearly the whole night in Jollity.  Our parents took part with us, and did all they could to make the time pass pleasantly for our visitors.  Uncle Joe and Hy were good singers and step dancers, and added much to our entertainment.  Our friends went home feeling well paid for their trouble in coming to see us.”

Victorian Christmas

Had Ida not been such a modest girl, I’m sure mention might have been made of her playing for the gathering as well.  Others have written of her playing her guitar {which a cousin in our family still has!} on many occasions, and singing, as she so loved to do…


Wishing you a wonderful season full of everything good—family, friends, and plenty of the simple things that have always brought such joy…



  1. Hi Julie, you are truly blessed to have as many family heirlooms as you do... loved hearing the paragraph about Christmas... especially here in Utah!... memories of precious loved ones... it would not be Christmas without them... xoxo Julie Marie

  2. Oh Julie, I love how you share your family with us, and they are ever so fascinating.


  3. Hi Julie! Thanks for the glimpse of Christmas past!

  4. What great treasure heirlooms you have! Such a blessing. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I think our society as a whole could really benefit from a "simpler" Christmas.
    Back in the day...families didn't even put their tree up until Christmas eve.
    Such less fuss then we go to now eh.
    Less baking
    less gifts
    I'd like that

  6. You are soooo lucky to have a written account of your family's Christmas gatherings! I would love to have that. I have tried to write down as many stories as I can remember that my grandparents and great aunts and uncles have told me, but it's not the same thing as having a written account.



  7. Happy Holidays. May you enjoy each blessing with your family..smiles..Renee

  8. I just love reading about and seeing photos of your family long ago. It always brings back memories of my own family stories. Thank you so much!
    Merry Christmas and may God Bless you and your family during this holiday season and always!

  9. Julie, I am still always so amazed at the history of your family that has been so lovingly preserved. Absolutely incredible! Happy holidays! Tammy

  10. Oh Julie, such a sweet post indeed! I loved reading about your great~great grandmother Ida's Christmas! While reading it, one could feel the excitement she felt! How blessed you are to have such writings!

    Merry Christmas dear friend!

  11. What a lovely story! And how fun to still have her guitar!!


  12. Pure romance, beauty, MAGIC, JULIE DEAR! HELLO THERE MY SWEET GIRL!

    Thank you so much for coming to visit yesterday! May you enjoy all the magic of the season. We had tons of snow and are loving every bit of it! Anita

  13. So wonderful to have that hand written glimpse!!! It sounds just like your pictures look. Thanks for sharing. I just got back from another trip to California & I can't believe that after being there 6 times this year we NEVER got together. But, this summer we will!!!! Merry Christmas sweet friend. HUGS!

  14. Wishing you a most joyous holiday season Julie! Thanks for the lovely victorian Christmas post. xoxo

  15. That's just how I picture a Victorian Christmas, singing, dancing, good food and friends and family. What more can anyone wish for. Have a Wonderful Christmas season Julie filled with Love and laughter!
    hugs Lynn