) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Correction 3. A Family Christmas, part II 4. Did you know...? 5. Christmas recipe 6. Christmas nostalgia TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. CORRECTION Last week under the "Did you know" section, I presented "... that Christmas trees were not popular in England until the German influence prevailed in the 19th century when Queen Victoria married a German nobleman, Prince Albert? He brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for the royal family in 1834... The numbers of the date are transposed. The date should read 1843. A FAMILY CHRISTMAS: Part II The early American Christmas globe captivated her all week. Watching the family in their daily routine gave her a first-hand insight. Of all of the family members in the globe, she liked the red-headed girl best. She was sure that, had she lived during that time, the two girls would have been best friends. One thing she noticed during the week was that the family didn't share much affection. She saw no family kisses and hugs exchanged. The children seemed to know they were loved, however. A look of pride came across the young boy's face on Tuesday when the father put his hand on the boy's shoulder. The man had indicated to the boy that he'd done something right. She also noticed that, though the family didn't have much in the way of home and belongings, they were happy. Unlike her own family, the parents spent every evening with their children. She'd made a new friend, even if it was a one-sided friendship. She put the first globe on her nightstand, sure that it was THE best Christmas present she'd ever received. Week 2: This week's gift was wrapped in silver and green paper and finished with a glittery silver ribbon and bow. It was really quite pretty. "Open it carefully," Grandmother's admonition from last week came back to her. Knowing what was inside the last gift, she was infintely more gentle with this second one. It was another snowglobe. *sigh* ...another one. A metal plate on the front said, "Louisville, Kentucky 1869." She set the globe on the coffee table and looked at it dejectedly. This simply was *not* what she wanted for Christmas! She hoped her Grandmother did a better job of gift selection with the next one, but had seriously begun to wonder now. The scene in the globe was pretty, again one with a family. This time she could see two rooms, one looking like a parlor and the other, a dining room. The wallpaper was bold, the furnishings ornate. Windows were covered in lace and richly-colored draperies. Just like the last one, the women and girls wore gowns. However, the men dressed much differently in this one; they wore regular pants instead of breeches and stockings. This time there were two women, one much older than the other. Six children and one man were also in the room. The children were playing with a puppy, laughing and giggling at its antics. One of the girls ~ the youngest of the children, had copper-red hair. She noticed the man did, too. Something is strange... so many of these people in the globes have her color of hair! Maybe her color wasn't such an unusual one, after all. The parlor windows were frosted a little and she could see through one with a curtain pulled back that it was snowing. Her attention was drawn to the room itself. Stockings hung from the mantle, blended with garlands and together framed a glowing fire of crackling pinecones. A small Christmas tree sat on a table in one corner of the parlor. Decorations showered the fir in candles, fans, glass trinkets, fruits, and strands of cranberries and popcorn. Paper cornucopias filled with nuts, candies, and other treats were among the ornaments. Topping the display was an angel with spun glass wings, a crinkled gold skirt, and a ceramic face. The tree wasn't as pretty as her family's but she guessed it was pretty enough for the day. The parlor had toys laying about, those she supposed had been received earlier in the day for Christmas. Dolls and dollhouses, board games, wind-up toys, rocking horses, and sleds added to the room's "lived-in" look for the day. A table held mittens, scarves, and sugar cookies which had also been presents. She could tell that many of the gifts were hand-made, only a few had been store-bought. It must have been time for dinner because everyone began moving into the dining room. Evergreens, flowers, and the best china and linens graced the dining room table. A sideboard was replete with a feast awaiting the family: roasted goose, ham, dressing, potatoes, cranberry pie, mince pie, plum pudding and Christmas cake. Soup started the meal, after blessing, of course. In all, she saw a huge difference between the Christmases of 1773 and 1869. She decided hers of today was better. Next week, would she finally get something for her doll collection? [We have the Victorians to thank for many of the Christmas season's joyful festivities and customs. They loved the holiday season and revived old traditions, such as caroling, and invented new ones like sending Christmas cards. Weeks before Christmas, Victorians began decorating their homes by tying evergreen branches to the posts and railings of their front porches, or draping them over their front door. They made wreaths from pine boughs, berries, dried fruit, pine cones, and ribbons, and hung them on the door to welcome guests during the holidays. The weeks before Christmas were spent preparing and socializing. The season was a time for parties; a time for love; a time to bring family and friends together in celebration. The wealthiest Victorians held grand balls and lavish parties during this time of year, and elite guests dressed in their fanciest clothing, waltzed through the night. The Victorians also promoted church-going, gift-giving, and charity to the poor as essential parts of the holiday. They transformed the folk figures of Father Christmas and Santa Claus into symbols of holiday generosity and they greatly popularized Germany's traditional Christmas tree, or Christbaum. Most of all though, the Victorians made Christmas a family celebration, with its primary focus on the Christ Child and children. A Victorian Christmas entailed the exchange of gifts between parents and children; attendance together at Church services; a multi-course family dinner; and visits with friends, relatives, and other families. The season was abuzz with exciting and fun activities both for children and families.] DID YOU KNOW...? ...that Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870? ...that Louisiana and Arkansas recognized Christmas as a legal holiday in 1831? They were the first states to recognize the day at a time when celebrating it in Puritan New England could get a person fined or thrown into the stockade. Alabama followed in 1836. ...that before December 25th became the standardized legal date for the holiday, Christmas celebrations took placed on December 6th (St. Nicholas's Day), or on January 6th (Epiphany)? CHRISTMAS RECIPE This week's recipe is shared with you by Priscilla Haines <email@example.com>. "James Aaron Howell's daughter married Stannage Haines, a man from the German section of Nova Scotia. She corresponded back and forth with his people and I am sure exchanged recipes with them. This is one of the Christmas recipes from those good German cooks." [NOTE: Julianie Howell married Stannage Haines April 14, 1895. She was born 1875 in Iowa and died 1909 in Canada.] **Dark Fruit Cake** 10 oz. butter 5 eggs 1/2 lb flour 1/2 lb dark brown sugar 1/2 c. molasses 1/2 c. strawberry preserves 1/2 c. brandy 1 t. vanilla drop or two of bitter almond and rose extracts 1 t. mace 1 1/2 nutmeg, grated 1 T. allspice 1/2 t. soda 1 pk currants 2 pks seeded raisins 1/4 lb almonds, blanched and cut up 1/4 lb of orange and lemon peel, cut up 1/2 lb of citron peel, cut up 2 T flour mixed with fruit. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time unbeaten, molasses, preserves, brandy and flavorings. Then the spices and soda dissolved in a little warm water. Next the flour and the fruit last. Steam steadily for 4 or 5 hours and bake 1 hour in a slow oven. Allow to cool in pan. CHRISTMAS NOSTALGIA For the next three weeks, or for as long as I have stories, I'll print your memories in the Sunday Morning Coffee. I'll name your first name only and won't give your email address. Send your nostalgic story to me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> no later than Tuesday, December 10th. Not many stories came in this week, however four did. I present to you now, two of them: From George: "You were probably asking us to tell you of a best Christmas. I have had 75 plus of those.... However, in 1944 and just a kid of 18 I spent my 1st Christmas away from home. I had arrived 4 months earlier on the island of Petyilu in the Admiralty Islands and was assigned to VJ-2 Navy Squadron. No Christmas trees there. Only palm trees and bushes so we took sticks and built our own Christmas tree by wrapping it with strips of an old parachute trimmed it with nuts and bolts and sang carols till the wee hours of the morning. The war ended 9 months later and then came my best one. The Christmas of 1945 was enjoyed back at home." From Mary: "I'm 61 now and still have wonderful memories of childhood Christmas. There were 10 children in our family and never did a Christmas eve pass that we didn't have Santa come to our door after we had our baths and p.j.'s on with candy and small gifts for all. Then on Christmas morning there were more gifts to behold. The most memorable Christmas eve was in 1951 [when] my older brother was a dispatcher for our large city fire department. He called home after midnight and told my Dad about a house fire in which a family with children lost everything. Daddy promptly went down to our tree and removed several gifts that would have been from Santa and called my brother to find out where the family had been placed after the fire, filled up a basket with food, fruit and candy from our kitchen and along with toys for the children. He picked out clothing from our closets that might fit the sizes that were needed and took them to the family. The gifts that we gave were not missed by us and the lesson that we learned was never forgotten. We were blessed to be able to have given to others in their time of loss." ~~~~~~~~ It's family... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'