As Christmas approaches and many of us are doing our last minute shopping in this hectic traffic, I thought it might be nice to compare Christmases.  I’ve included here an article from Christmas in the early 1800s, one from the mid-1800s, and an excerpt from an oral history interview about Christmas in the 1930s.  Enjoy!

Country Jottings by Herman Rave, 12/22/1927.


Memories of Christmases long past: The way things were in New Albany by Linda Stahl, Courier Journal, 12/25/1977.


Excerpt from Oral History Interview #105, Bud Ricke, 2/4/1994

Mr. Ricke:  You never heard of it?  But the best one was Beechwood Avenue, of course that had a hill, and you were allowed to… they would shut the street down and you could roller skate up go up there and it was fun.  ‘Course, that’s about all we ever got for Christmas was a pair of roller skates.  One Christmas we’d get our roller skates and the next year we’d get something else cause the skates had to last two years.  And then, I don’t know what we’d get for Christmas.  It didn’t make any difference because we had a happy home.  You didn’t get a whole lot for Christmas.

I remember talking about Christmas, we had St. Nicholas Day which was December 6.  We would hang a stocking up someplace, we didn’t have a fireplace.  We’d hang a stocking up and St. Nicholas would put an apple or an orange, or a couple of pieces of hard candy in there for St. Nicholas Day.  Now they don’t observe that today but I was teaching my little grandchildren about it and my sons got after me for it.

Carla:  That’s a nice tradition.

Mr. Ricke:  It is, it’s a nice tradition and… but see in those days an apple and an orange was a treat because you did not have any.  I remember one Christmas my dad came home with a whole box of grapes – the red grapes that you buy now at the store and you take for granted that they’re always there – it was the first time I ever seen them, and I don’t know what year this was, it was bound to be in the early 30s, and he came home with a box of grapes and they were delicious.  It was the first time I ever had Tokay grapes (all white)…