Holiday Inspiration in The Filson’s Collections

Has the holiday season snuck up on everyone this year, or is it just me? My tree is up, but only adorned by three (three!) ornaments. Last week, I hung up two wreaths outside, and I managed to put up a small table centerpiece, but really, I’ve been caught off guard. This year has flown by and I’m feeling a little lost as I prepare for the holidays.

If you too are feeling a little out of sorts this season, look no further than The Filson’s collections. We have several Christmas cards and photos within the collection, and my favorite, The Gift of Christmas Past: A Return to Victorian Traditions. This book details the many traditions of a Victorian Christmas, from gifts that were made to the way homes were decorated. My favorite gift was the Wonder Ball, a ball of yarn that was unwrapped and then re-wrapped with little gifts inside for the knitter to find as the yarn was used. How fun would it be to receive a Wonder Ball, truly a gift that keeps on giving? In case one is coming up short with ideas for Christmas dinner, The Gift of Christmas Past has the bill of fare first produced in Ladies’ Home Journal (December 1890, p. 27), which includes not only a boned turkey, but a stuffed ham and stewed Oysters, along with various vegetables and sweets.

Luckily, The Filson holiday traditions are in full swing. Our tree was up the week after Thanksgiving and the halls have been decked. As we prepare for the holiday season, I hope that this book and the many items in our collections will bring you joy.

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans is the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at The Filson Historical Society. When she isn’t working on publications for The Filson, you can find her behind her sewing machine or out on the roads training for her next big race.

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