What was Christmas like in Colonial Charleston? Not surprisingly, the Charleston Public Library has at least part of the answer…although they acknowledge a challenge:
“Because we rely heavily on written records to understand the past, our ability to understand how this holiday was kept in the Charleston area in ages past is frustrated by one simple and logical fact: most writers put down their pens during the holiday season. During the observance of Christmas and, say, the day before and the day following the traditional feast day, shops closed, the government shut down, schools adjourned, newspapers stopped printing, and the Lowcountry became quiet. From scores of surviving letters and newspaper anecdotes, however, we can learn the basic outline of the season’s activities. Many people were busy visiting their family and neighbors, making music, dancing, hunting, and preparing fancy dinners. These were common practices, so few people felt the need to document them in written descriptions.”
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