colonial christmas a celebration n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Download Presentation


121 Views Download Presentation
Download Presentation


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript


  2. Introduction The first American Christmas celebration occurred in the Virginia colony, 1608. The colonists celebrated Christmas with special foods, lively decoration, and specific traditions and customs. I hope you find this as interesting as I did.


  4. Food that was eaten during the Christmas celebration • Doors were always opened, and tables were always filled. • The food that was eaten on Christmas day was not the usual food that was eaten every other day of the week. • They ate oysters, fish, flesh, wild-foule, and good bread. • The also had wine and beverages flowing freely throughout the night.

  5. Holiday Food (Continued) • Baking played an important role in the Sinterklaas celebration. • Women baked a two-foot-high cookie that had a resemblance to Sinterklaas and topped it off with frosting. • On Twelfth Night, a special bread was baked. This bread was called “three kings”, and was normally baked with a bean inside, but if you were wealthy, then you put a ring inside. Whoever got the piece with the bean or ring was king for the night.

  6. Sinterklaas • Some colonists called Christmas “Sinterklaas”, as well as today’s modern “Santa”. • They began celebrating on Sinterklaas Eve. • The wives of these families started preparing on Sinterklaas Eve (Christmas Eve), and they would prepare a spicy biscuit or cookie, called Speculaas. Today we would refer to Speculaas as gingerbread cookies.

  7. Three Kings bread Sinterklaas Speculaas


  9. Christmas Decorations • Colonists decorated their home for Christmas. • They made wreaths of spruce, apples,pinecones, and lemons. The wreaths were hung outside. • Inside homes were pieces of holly that were stuffed behind paintings and mirrors. They also used cotton balls to act as snow.

  10. Christmas Decorations (Continued) • A cone-shaped centerpiece composed of apples topped with a pineapple, placed on holly, was put in the middle of the table. • They also used to mix small lady apples, pinecones, and boxwood to make an X around a soup tureen and four candlesticks. • Churches that celebrated Christmas decorated their pews and alters with laurel and wound garlands of evergreen around the pulpit or platform.

  11. Christmas Decorations (Continued) • As you know, some colonists began celebrating on the night of Sinterklaas Eve and did not stop until after Christmas day. • Shops were decorated with bright, silk curtains that hung to the floor and evergreens. The evergreens would stay set up until Candlemas (February 2nd). • Wives readied their homes for company by shining the brass, copper, and silver. They also sanded the floors. • On Sinterklaas Eve, they had many traditions. One of them was koek-plakken, which is cake-pasting. Young people would paste or wrap a gold or silver leaf on small cakes.

  12. Garlands of evergreen Wreaths Cone-shaped centerpiece Holly that was used to stuff behind mirrors A church decorated for Christmas


  14. Traditions and Customs of Christmas • Whoever was the hostess of the celebration would entertain their guests. They might do so with fiddlers, a jester, a tightrope walker, and an acrobat. • An important event, celebrated on Christmas, was carrying out the Yule log and putting it in the fire place. • Bits and pieces of the Yule log from the previous year was used to light the present one. • The old pieces were stored under the bed until next Christmas. • If a person was having troubles that year, they would throw a holly sprig into the fire to end their troubles.

  15. Traditions and Customs of Christmas (Continued) • On Sinterklaas Eve, the guests danced, sang, and cake-pasted. • Children waited for Sinterklaas to come on his horse, with books, games, cakes, and fruits to give to them. • On Sinterklaas Eve, all children filled their shoes with hay and a carrot to give to Sinterklaas’ horse. This tradition is just like the one of today: children leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus. • On Twelfth Night, three candles were placed on the floor which children danced around. Adults would be led outside by three kings who each carried a pole with a lighted star on the end of it, and they would sing.

  16. Traditions and Customs (Continued) • Children either hung stockings, left straw baskets, or plates of soup on the dining table for the “Christ Child” who entered through a keyhole. • These families built Christmas cribs, in which they placed straw on the bottom of it, and positioned animals in a manger. • A popular custom was hanging a mistletoe, or a “kissing bough”, made with evergreen and ribbon. People would also slip a piece of mistletoe in an invitation to wish the guests good fortune. • At celebrations, people would carry around wassail bowls, which were bowls filled with spiced ale, sugar, and apples. • People also enjoyed singing carols.

  17. A holly sprig Colonists throwing the Yule log into the fire Colonists underneath the “kissing bough” Wassail bowl

  18. GINGERBREAD COOKIES!!! INGREDIENTS 1 cup sugar 1 cup melted margarine 2 tsps. ginger ½ cup evaporated milk 1 tsp. nutmeg 1 cup unsulfured molasses 1 tsp. cinnamon ¾ tsp. vanilla extract 1 ½ tsps. baking soda ¾ tsp. lemon extract ½ tsp. salt 4 cups unbleached flour Directions • Combine the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. • Add the melted margarine, evaporated milk, and molasses. • Add the extracts. Mix well. • Add the flour-1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Knead dough. • When dough is smooth, roll it out ¼ inch thick on a floured surface and cut into cookies. • Preheat oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake on floured or greased cookie sheets for 10 to 12 minutes.

  19. URLS INTERNET SOURCES BOOK SOURCE Holidays and Celebrations in Colonial America by Russell Roberts