They Must Know We're Out There......

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Pumpkin_Man
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:09 am

Actualy, turkey was relatively cheap as compared to beef, and the poorer peopole could save for a Christmas turkey more easily then they could for a Prim Rib, which was the main stream English tradition at Christmas. I know that a lot of people took to eating Turkey for feasts when they came to America, because turkies are indigidious to the Americas. That's why anyone could simply go out and shoot one for their Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. That's also probably why it became so popular as both a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition.

As for the American Colonists, they mainly were Englishmen who were there to settle the British Colonies, and from what I understand, Christmas was highly celebrated in England even then, all though I don't know what the traditions were in those days.

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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Murfreesboro » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:41 am

Well, I don't have much knowledge of what people ate in the British Isles in the 18th/19th centuries, so I won't dispute that. What I do know I get from reading literature.

As for Christmas, it was outlawed when the Puritans took control of England in the 1640s & 50s. My understanding is that when it came back into style (after Cromwell's death), it was rather anemic compared to what it had been during, say, Shakespeare's day. Those American colonies that were founded by Puritans (such as Massachusetts) also outlawed Christmas in the early days, though I guess that fell by the way at some point. The Puritans had a thing against Christmas rather like the Evangelicals do today against Halloween--it was too pagan for them, and too Catholic, I guess.

So there was definitely a break in the English tradition of Christmas celebration, and it was rediscovered or rehabilitated in the early 19th century. You see it picking up steam in America with things like The Night Before Christmas, and in England with Dickens' Christmas Carol. One impetus was the international influence of German culture at that time. The Germans, both Protestants and Catholics, had never stopped celebrating Christmas. I guess German immigrants to the US helped it along, and Queen Victoria's German consort, Prince Albert, made it fashionable in England.

I'm not sure what may have been happening in the Southern colonies during the colonial era. If anyone celebrated Christmas in 18th century America, it was probably the wealthier people in the South. They were mostly Anglican (Episcopal), and not that different in outward form from the Catholics.

Another impetus to the celebration of Christmas in the 19th century was the new emphasis on childhood, the idealization of childhood, which was central to the Romantic movement (also originally a German aesthetic philosophy). Whatever Christmas had been in earlier centuries, it almost certainly wasn't as family- and child-centered as it became in the 19th century.
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Jack Skellington » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:43 am

That's some very interesting information there from the both of you. Thanks. :)

Goose is starting to become more popular over here again. I saw it on BBC News the other day. I've never eaten it myself. It's always been a Turkey & either Beef or Pork for me. Both growing up & now with my wife as it was the same for her.
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Murfreesboro » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:42 am

I'm trying to think if I've ever eaten goose. I believe I've heard it is all dark meat, rather like duck, which I have eaten (and love). If you like rich, dark meat, you'd probably like it, but if you prefer the white meat of a chicken or turkey, you might not.
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:44 am

IT's funny you shoud mention the Gemrans, Murf. The whole tradition of decorating a Christmas tree came from the Gemans. Even the Christmas song "Oh Christmas Tree" has a German verse init. "Tannaubaum"

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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Murfreesboro » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:40 am

Oh, absolutely. Christmas trees are totally German. And even though Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation in Germany, he was all about Christmas, apparently. He is the one credited with lighting the Christmas tree with candles. Supposedly he got the idea when he walked home through a forest on a frosty night and saw the stars twinkling through the tree limbs. I guess it was more extreme Protestants (the Puritans) who got away from anything that wasn't Biblical. I think Luther originally just wanted to reform the Catholic church, do away with some of the abuses of that era (selling indulgences to pay for the building of St. Peter's in Rome, for example). He didn't really want to break away from it at first, but they pushed him away.

The older English tradition was to decorate with holly and mistletoe, and to have a Yule log. I think the Yule log is ultimately a Scandinavian thing.
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:23 am

The celebration of Yule is based in Scandinavian peaganism, and the Yule log was part of that tradition. I don't know if the fire that I have in my fire place on Christmas Eve could be refered to as a "Yule" log, but it is part of my Christmas tradition which I do every Christmas Eve.

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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Murfreesboro » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:00 am

I don't know much about the Yule Log, so I found a link with a nice write-up:

http://www.noelnoelnoel.com/trad/yulelog.html

This article makes it sound as if the name "Yule" is Scandinavian, but the tradition was wide-spread all over Europe. I also found it interesting that, according to this source, American slaves didn't have to work as long as the Yule Log burned--and if they did, their master had to pay them.
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:56 pm

That was a very interesting and well written article. Thanks for posting the link. I knew that the Yule log was an ancient tradition, but I had no idea how much of an actual Christmas tradition it really became. We (meaning my family) never actualy had a Yule log per se, but I do light a fire in my fire place on Christmas Eve. We allways had a fire on Christmas Eve in our fire place when we were kids, in the very fire place where Santa Clause would enter the house to deliver our packages. That's also where we all hung our Christmas stockings. A fire place has allways had a 'magical' affect one me for that reason. I all ways hung my stocking on the andiron set every year. I now own that same andiron set, and all though I fill it myself with various odds and ends to make it look good, I still hang my stocking, that very same Christmas stocking, on that very same andiron set right by my fire place.

I guess you could call the wood I burn on Christmas Eve "Yule Logs" if you wanted to. The only difference is that I do go to my brothers house on Christmas Day to have dinner, and I NEVER leave an unattended fire in my house, so I let the fire die out before I call it a night. Then I go to dinner the next day, and if there's any wood left, I light a fire on Christmas Day when I get home from my brothers house.

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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Murfreesboro » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:10 am

I wish I had a fireplace. When I was growing up, we had a gas fireplace, so I did get to hang my stocking on the mantel, but my house now doesn't even have a mantel. I need tons of work done on my house, but if I were to win the lottery, I think I'd add a room with a fireplace.
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby iHaunt » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:16 pm

Good thing is that I really don't want to have a fireplace here at home b/c it will be slightly cold outside so I only have heat inside my home. I only turn on the heater in November till the end of February. My home is like Miami, Florida! :lol:
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Jack Skellington » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:54 am

Some interesting info there about the Yule Log. Thanks Murf! :)

I love decorating a Christmas Tree & can't wait to put this years up! :D

I'm off to do some Christmas shopping today. Gunna stop at Starbucks & treat myself to one of the their Christmas drinks - the Gingerbread Latte! I love that one! :D
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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:26 am

I bought some Christmas themed Oreo Cookies for my Tree Trimming Party on the 3rd.

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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby iHaunt » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:54 am

Oh, u love christmas cookies?? Me too! :D So be carefully not to eat too much sweet b/c my elder died in 2008 from diabetes. She was so stubborn for eating and drinking everything too sweet! :? Her doctor told her no more sweet things, but well... she died at age 83. :(


Pumpkin_Man wrote: I bought some Christmas themed Oreo Cookies for my Tree Trimming Party on the 3rd.

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Re: They Must Know We're Out There......

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:44 am

iHaunt, at age 83, I think a person should pretty much eat or drink what ever they want. How much longer can you really extend a person's life when they hit their 80s? And what about their quality of life? I dread the day that I should live to be that old, and have everyone pontificating on how I should live out the rest of my life, what foods I can eat, what activities I can and can not engage in, etc. When my father died at age 84, he left a huge hole in the family, but he was ready to go. He figured he had 84 good years, and wanted to go to God BEFORE he started becoming senile, dependent on others for even his bathroom needs, and becoming a burden on the family. He had a blood clot that might have extended his life another 10 years, if it were removed, but he knew that his arteries were hardening, and he would have been a vegitable by then, so he decided against the surgery. He wanted to die in the loving arms of his family while he was still cohearent enough to recognize all of us.

I have to agree with your elder's decision to enjoy the Christmas cookies she loved so much. Living to one's 80s is quite an accomplishment, and being elderly can often be a very tough road to hoe.

MIke

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