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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 And A new Year........

The legacy of our grandfathers and grandmothers follows us today. If they could jump through time and space and see us now, what would they say is the most important task? Could it be to pass along all the admirable traits from them and drop all the destructive ones?
Did you learn kindness from your grandmother? Pass it on. Did you learn determination from a great uncle? Pass it on.
Did you learn to believe in God from your Papa? Please pass it on.
Now what about the rest? Take, envy, greed, or slothfulness and drop them.
Make your generation the best ever. Leave your grandchildren truth, love,and hope.
You can't do better than that.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Colonial Holidays...........

The Virginia observation of Christmas tended towards good fellowship and good eating. The Virginia Almanac for 1772 carried these sentiments on a December page:

This Month much Meat will be roasted in rich Mens Kitchens, the Cooks sweating in making of minced Pies and other Christmas Cheer, and whole Rivers of Punch, Toddy, Wine, Beer, and Cider consumed with drinking. Cards and Dice will be greatly used, to drive away the Tediousness of the long cold Nights; and much Money will be lost at Whist Cribbage and All fours.

In England the custom was for an apprentice to visit each of his master's clients to collect tips for his services throughout the year, the custom apparently was followed in Virginia.

Soon after the Revolution, St. George Tucker of Williamsburg wrote "Christmas Verses for the Printer's Devil":

Now the season for mirth and good eating advances,
Plays, oysters and sheldrakes, balls, mince pies and dances;
Fat pullets, fat turkeys, and fat geese to feed on,
Fat mutton and beef; more by half than you've need on;
Fat pigs and fat hogs, fat cooks and fat venison,
Fat aldermen ready the haunch to lay hands on;
Fat wives and fat daughters, fat husbands and sons,
Fat doctors and parsons, fat lawyers and duns;
What a dancing and fiddling, and gobbling and grunting,
As if Nimrod himself had just come in from hunting!
These all are your comforts—while mine are so small,
I may truly be said to have nothing at all.
I'm a Devil you know, and can't live without fire,
From your doors I can see it, but I dare not come nigher;
Now if you refuse me some wood, or some coal,
I must e'en go and warm, in old Beelzebub's hole;
Next, tho' I'm a devil, I drink and I eat,
Therefore stand in need of some rum, wine and meat;
Some clothes too I want—for I'm blacker than soot,
And a hat, and some shoes, for my horns and my foot;
To supply all these wants, pray good people be civil
And give a few pence to a poor printer's devil.

In 1772, the Virginia Gazette published a letter from “An Old Fellow,” who lived in England. He complained about the “Decay of English Customs and Manners.” After describing the old English Christmas when the kitchen was “the Palace of Plenty, Jollity, and good Eating,” he wrote:

Now mark the Picture of the present Time: Instead of that firm Roast Beef, that fragrant Pudding, our Tables groan with the Luxuries of France and India. Here a lean Fricassee rises in the Room of our majestick Ribs, and there a Scoundrel Syllabub occupies the Place of our well-beloved Home-brewed. The solid Meal gives Way to the slight Repast; and, forgetting that good Eating and good Porter are two great Supporters of Magna Charta and the British Constitution, we open our Hearts and our Mouths to new Fashions in Cookery, which will one Day lead us to Ruin."