Over the last few weeks we’ve written briefly about Christmas traditions in both Wales U.K., and Southern Africa. Equally interesting are our very own traditions right here in America. And some fun facts about how these came to be.
On a personal note, our first Christmas in America, our new home, although far away from our loved ones, was magical! It was cold – snowflakes – beautiful, ornate, soft, white and fluffy, were falling and it was like nothing we had experienced before. We didn’t have gloves, boots, scarves or coats...we still had to learn about all of that! But we had so much fun throwing snowballs and sledding on kitchen trays!
Then, we were bewildered by all the decorations neighbors had on their houses and in their gardens. In South Africa and Wales, we decorated inside our homes very modestly, but not outside. So – Christmas Eve we drove around looking at the wonderful neighborhood decorations and lights before attending our favorite church service, Christmas Eve Midnight Service, to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Although we now live in the south – which we love – our daughter lives in Michigan. We have the joy of enjoying many white Christmases with our family up there.
Some fun facts around Christmas that may be new to some of you – enjoy.
1539: The first Christmas in the continental United States was observed by Hernando de Soto and his 600-member expedition near what is now Tallahassee, Florida.
In 1853, President Franklin Pierce was to install the first Christmas tree at the White House.
Although it’s not quite clear when SANTA first began his journeying down American chimneys, it was in 1890 that store owner James Edgar introduced the traditional costume as he entertained his customers’ children.
Finally, our favorite American tradition for those of us who delight in over-indulging at this annual gastronomical feast....
The CHRISTMAS CAKE! At Borth Beach Soapery no Christmas is complete without our Wendy’s mouthwatering Welsh version, which she makes in September each year. (It then spends 3 months maturing, and absorbing the brandy she puts in it. Mmmm!) However, in American history, it was no other than First Lady Marsha Washington who pioneered the first Christmas cake at Mount Vernon.
As you can see, ‘Christmas in America’ could continue for many more pages, which just goes to show what an amazing heritage our beautiful country, which we love so much, has created in such a relatively short time.
Merry, Merry Christmas.