by David Cardillo, DDNP Staff, Blog Contributor
Merry Christmas from the DDNP!
The Delaware Gazette and State Journal on December 23, 1897 provides a comprehensive overview of Christmas lore. One particular article describes not only the Christian origins of Christmas, but also how Saint Nicholas (or Santa Claus) came to be. It describes traditional Christmas dinners for the late 19th century, which consisted of pheasant and boar’s head stuffed with an orange and explains how the pheasant was eventually replaced with the goose, a precursor to the current American turkey tradition. As for decorations, the article describes the “heathenish” origins of mistletoe and yule logs and how they came to be Christianized.
Christmas has deep roots as a time for generosity. As described in this same article, kings, squires, and peasants sat down together to feast. As seen in the image above, clothing was also a reason for the season. This particular white gown is described as “extremely fashionable this season” as well as “graceful and smart.”
Traditions, food, friends, family, and fashion are still important part of life for Delawareans today.