Saturday, December 03, 2016

How to plant and decorate a Christmas Tree most becomingly.
Year 1890

 "Joseph," dad called from the back of the house where he was gathering coal from the tracks to heat the house . "its your turn to go cut a tree and bring it in for decoratin, your mother is looking forward to gettin this done this evenin and i don't have the time  to go with you."
"Yes sir," I replied. I can do it I'll help ma get it set up and ready for the decoratin." So be it.

Most times the trees were brought into the company store for us to buy and we just take it home, but this year Uncle Elmer had  two from his farm and given us one so all I had to do was to go fetch it.
Plant the tree in a wash tub filled with a load of hard coalof flat irons to keep the tree in plce cover over the tub with a fur robe or a fyard good and then place larger heavier items on top to give it a festive appeal. the children will then manufacture many beautiful decorations and will take quite a fancy as if they came from a fancy shop.
Next comes the garland. With a few sheets of gilt, blue, scarlet and silver paper cut into tiny strips four inches in length you can make long chains that will entwine throughout the boughs of the tree. a bottle of mucilage paste will join the papers together in rings then together to make your chain. twenty yards will be needed for a large tree and twelve yards for a small tree. Once made these garland chains can be kept for years. Parch a  large pan of pop corn and string them into chains with a needle and corse thread entwine them about the tree branches. If you posses a broken looking glass break into small sizes and paste a bit of brown paper over the back of the glass and bind the edges with pieces of scarlet paper, paste a ribbon onto the paper and suspend from the branches. ( you can never have to many tiny mirrors) 
Next you need to shell out them English walnuts. Do this carefully  not to disturb the meat, you will want to use these later on them frosted Christmas cakes. Purchase a pound of sugared caraway and fill half of one of the nutshells then paste the other half using a common glue or gum tragacanth (a gummy substance derived from various low, spiny, Asian shrubs) insert a ribbon of any color in the top of the shell cut a small round of gilt paper and cover with paste, wrap it carefully about the nut, letting the folds of it lie evenly about the ribbon. make as many of these as you can, these are the presttiest of al the "rattle-boxes" and everybody likes to possess these little trophies.

Little lace bags made of bobbinet lace or washed illusion are also pretty and desirable when filled with nuts and raisins. small apples stuck with cloves make a nice perfume.

A Christ child or angel for the top of the tree is made by dressing a doll in lace. securing it to the top of the tree boughs with thin wire.

Small candles can also be added to the boughs with a bit of wire thrust through the bottom of the candle after heating it a bit. . this will be used to secure the candle to the boughs of the tree. . Every thing in place candles lit the apples and cloves smell wonderful with the blend of pine sent.

Now we wait for Santa.

 an excerpt from a coal company magazine in southern WV in 1890
excluding the photo of the walnut, and photo of family around tree

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This is a great place to share about things going on in my world. I have had some wonderful experiences in my company store days and would like to share them. I also am having some fantastic experiences now with my new family and friends. I am getting a face lift and having lots of visitors.
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