Christmas In 1900
Farm Corner - December 19, 1958
by Joe F. Combs
What was Christmas like on the farm in 1900? That has been a long time and great changes have come over the world since that day.
But there has been o change to bring greater happiness to the home or more respect for the Giver of All Life than we had in those days. Happiness doesn't necessarily come from new inventions and new conveniences, fine as they are. Happiness is an experience of the inner man or woman, or of the child. Peace of mind and happiness have been sought after by men of all ages and there have been many ways and may plans devised for reaching this state. But nothing that fails to take care of the spiritual side of life can give lasting peace, regardless of the glitter and the noise.
In the old days of Christmas there was less fanfare and more respect for each other. There was less of commercial angle and more of the mutual respect and love that everyone ought to have for everyone else. In the olden time, Christmas preparations included quite a different plan to that of today.
In the stillness and crisp air of the countryside the sounds of home life over on the hill at the neighbor's farm were easily heard and even the voices of the neighbor's children could be heard s they romped about the home.
Neighbors joined in the task of killing fresh pork for Christmas and a dozen overall-clad farmers cold be seen standing with their backs to a pine knot fire, waiting for the water to boil in the old wash pot, which was to be used to douse the hogs after they were felled with the pole ax.
After slaughter, there were spare ribs, backbone and other choice cuts of pork for all who wanted it and no questions were asked. No man paid for his pork but he would in turn furnish the fat porkers for the next slaughter and pork-sharing event.
Turnip greens, collards, cakes, pies and game of all kinds made up a part of the meal being planned for the Christian's greatest holiday. And as a "centerpiece" on the ten foot-long dining table, a b big gobbler with all the trimmings rested on a big platter.
Around this table on Christmas a grateful and happy family bowed their heads and gave thanks. And their thanks were from deep down in humble hearts. There was no formality, just simple folk giving thanks in a simple way.
Christmas time was a time to begin life anew, for they felt that "Life like the waters of the seas, freshens only when it ascends toward heaven." Christmas day was a day to be humble, and the old-time family was not ashamed to humble themselves.