“….if ever families needed warmth, advice, nurturing, ideas, and inspiration, it is today.” ~Victorian Family Celebrations, by Sarah Ban Breathnach
I bought a big stack of books from our recent town library book sale and the above mentioned book was one that I discovered. I was already familiar with Breathnach’s work in Simple Abundance, a Daybook of Comfort and Joy, and was eager to learn more of her gentle and wise advise.
Victorian Family Celebrations is “a month to month guide to creating seasonal feasts, traditional crafts, and the little daily rituals that make a house a home.” I turned to the chapter of ideas for the month of July, thinking the author would probably have ideas for a “Christmas in July” type of party for the children. I assumed it would take place on the 25th (the six month mark for the real Christmas) but was surprised to read that July 15th was also an option, as it is the birthday of the poet who wrote “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Planning a little party was just the thing for Grace and I to do together — we promptly sent the little ones to their rooms for rest time.
We did a little bit of decorating, made a cake, went on a quick trip to the Dollar Store and in just over an hour we had everything ready for the children.
“Observing Christmas in July was the custom of resourceful Victorian mothers who started thinking about Christmas long before Thanksgiving. This is because a century ago we made the majority of our gifts. By the end of the summer, Victorian families were almost done with their holiday gift making……”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach, page 144
Caleb was surprised and delighted with the tree, and the star on top that he said he remembered.
We lit the candles on the cake and turned off the lights.
It was Grace’s idea to sing “Silent Night” and as soon as the song was over, all five of the children helped to blow out the candles.
While we ate our cake and drank our milk, Grace read aloud the poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in honor of the Reverend Clement Clark Moore’s birthday.
The cake was a boxed mix, using melted butter instead of oil, and frosted with a simple thin layer of homemade green icing. I decorated it with red sugar sprinkles and snowflakes (leftover from last Christmas).
While I threw away the napkins and plastic silverware, Caleb and Sarah made snow angels. (note:Dave isn’t feeling well this afternoon).
We passed out the small gifts and watched each other open them.
Sarah got flip flops
Caleb got army men
Seth got a whoopee cushion
Grace got a rabbit figurine
I got a framed Bible verse
and David got a flashlight, all from the dollar store.
It was such fun!