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Dreaming of a White Christmas

By Lynn Hamilton

Old St. Nick

Well, you probably won't have one in Old Town San Diego, but you can step back in time and see how the holidays were celebrated in the 19th century. Once again the Whaley House will take on its holiday finery circa 1870's. The holiday committee is chaired this year by me and my daughter Michelle. Last year Linda Aurora Espino compiled a reference book of period Christmas celebrations and along with that we will be using a book entitled Merry Christmas! Celebrating America's Greatest Holiday by Karal Ann Marling, which is a personal favorite. We will compile the history of some favorite holiday traditions such as, gifts and their wrappings; cards; trees; decorations; and even store displays, (remember Thomas was a merchant) plus much more. Be sure to stop by and see how San Diego decorated before the advent of fake garlands and twinkle mini lights. Learn how gifts were wrapped before the glitzy papers of today. What were the gifts of the time? (I'll give you a hint; it wasn't computers, CD's or video games). We will also be preparing a book for your perusal detailing many traditions and when they took their place in history.

Trivia Questions: Do you know what Dresdens are? What did San Diegans use as their greenery? Where did mistletoe come from? How were cards used as gifts? When did the national advertisement for a product specifically intended to be presented as a Christmas gift first appear? If you would like to learn the answer to all these questions and more, we will look forward to seeing you at the Whaley House in December to find out. See you then and Happy Holidays!

2002 - Volume 33, Issue 4

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Getting To Know Your San Diego


Historical Resources Board


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Remembering Claire


The Whaley House Junior Docent Program


Dreaming of a White Christmas


Around the Whaley House


Strength in Numbers


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