8 Primary Source Documents to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

With the holidays upon us what better way to connect with the quaint old fashioned holiday spirit than getting cozy near a fireplace and immersing yourself in primary source documents.

1. Santa Got Stuck

This story from 1893 tells the story of poor Samson Getholtz who had quite the unfortunate mishap on Christmas day trying to surprise his family.

2. An Engraving of the Christmas Tree at Windsor Palace

From a December 23rd, 1948 issue of the Illustrated London Times, this engraving shows Queen Victoria and the royal family enjoying their elaborate christmas tree which is described in meticulous detail on the next page.

“The tree employed for this festive purposed is a young fir about 8 feet high, and has 6 tiers of branches…Pendant from the branches are elegant trays, baskets, bonnières, and other receptacles for sweet meats of the most varied and expensive kind; and of all forms, colours and degrees of beauty.”

3. Christmas Morning (a children’s book)

 

This short children’s book published in 1890 is beautifully illustrated and tells the story of a Christmas morning festivities and adventures.

4. Is Everything Ready for the Christmas Feast?

This helpful article from 1931 will help you make sure your Christmas turkey is as tender as can be with pointers on choosing the best bird.

5. The Truth About Mistletoe

In this column from 1914 the author lays to bare the pagan roots of the holiday mistletoe tradition.

6. Santa Claus Comic

This comic from 1904 shows a boy trying to help his overzealous baby brother out of a jam.

7. The Santa Claus Story Book

This over 200 page story book would have been the perfect gift for the discerning child of the 1890’s. It’s beautifully illustrated and contains a wide variety of children’s stories from stories about Santa to Little Red Riding Hood.

8.  The Amatuer Holiday Number

This holiday publication features christmas stories and ads for “FANCY GOODS!” at a store where you could get “a good Watch for Five Dollars.”

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