Christmas Celebrations – 1868

December 20, 1868 – Mary Affleck writes about 6 weeks after her sister Sarah’s visit:

I think Harriet is rather more cheerful than she was when you were here, and appears to take considerable interest in proposing an entertainment to be given in the church to the children of the Sabbath School, on Christmas Eve, and Johnnie has been very busy stringing popcorn to ornament the Christmas tree. This morning I heard him anxiously inquire if five days would be long, his mother having told him there were just five days till Christmas. He is expecting Santa Claus to bring him a drum, and I have no doubt the days will seem long enough to him, I suppose your little folks are also anticipating a happy time, and hope they may not be disappointed…

Harriet’s lack of cheer is not explained, but may have been partly from the death of her daughter Mary Howard Patterson a few years earlier. I wonder if she had also been hoping for another child during this period. “Johnnie: (or John Gladstone Patterson) was born in in 1862 and she did not have her younger son George Edward until 1870.


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