Christmas in the Old West

Folks pioneering in the Old West celebrated Christmas, just as many of us do today. While the manner in which Christmas was celebrated may have varied from place to place, there were certain commonalities that were shared among cowboys, soldiers, traders, explorers, farmers, and town people.

Rainer Bantau-23_Bw

Christmas in the Old West featured many of the traditions we know today. An Old West Christmas included the exchange of gifts,consumption of food, playful fun and gatherings involving friends and family alike.

Life on the frontier was not for the meek.

Life on the frontier was not for the meek. The men, women and children of the Old West endured brutal winters, harsh blizzards, ferocious storms, and callous cold temperatures. The holiday celebration offered them respite from the hardness of frontier life and refugee from the difficulties of surviving in the Old West.Just as is true today, there were those back then for whom Christmas was a solitary endeavor—the lone cowboy or mountain explorer far away from civilized festivities.

Evergreens, pine cones, holly berries, and nuts spruced up modest frontier homes.Christmas trees were decorated with homemade decorations, straw dolls, cookie dough ornaments, gingerbread men, ribbon, yarn, berries or popcorn. Plum pudding would be aging to perfection in a pot. Handmade presents were exchanged amid humble celebrations. On Christmas Eve, stories of Santa Claus were told around the fire while  singers—soldiers and civilians alike—spent Christmas Eve caroling and singing songs celebrating the season, with the Christmas meal cooking over an open-fire.

On Christmas Day, families would make their way to their local church, celebrating the Lord’s provision and blessing.

On Christmas Day, families would make their way to their local church, celebrating the Lord’s provision and blessing, and being reminded of the greatest gift God had had provided them—his Son, Jesus Christ—through whom they could know salvation.

The roots and traditions of Christmas run deep throughout our diverse cultures. Throughout the generations, people have sought to celebrate the promise of faith, hope, and love that the Christmas season brings.

Merry Christmas to you and yours—-

Rb

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s