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 The Christmas Party
1. Some of today's Christmas traditions go back to the dark ages in Europe with its long winter nights.
These were scary times, steeped in superstitions, when many folks believed that evil spirits were lurking outside in the dark.
2. TheChristmas party evolved from the winter custom of holding loud, cheerful bashes, partly to warn the nocturnal nasties not to mess with a bunch of raving humans.
3. Decking the halls grew out of the ancient custom of decorating one's abode with evergreen, the symbol of enduring and renewed life.
Bringing green branches inside during the winter ensured the return of vegetation in the spring.

   Christmas and Christmas Lore by T. G. Crippen
This book was first published in 1923 and has been out of print until recently. The illustrations and original typeface are faithfully reproduced in this hardbound edition.
The author has assembled a fascinating collection of customs, traditions, and legends relating to Christmas drawn from chapbooks and pamphlets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and from various books dealing with antiquities and legends. Fifty-six chapters cover such topics as Christmas ghosts, tales, hymns, cards, plays, Epiphany, Twelfth Night, etc.
6" x 9" 223 pages, index, illustrations hardbound
#501 Christmas Lore $42.00
   Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem
If you ever wanted the definitive answers on subjects such as black cats and white heather, silver bullets and gold ear rings, look no further than this classic dictionary. Entries are reinforced by quotations tht trace their development through the centuries. Subjects covered include spells, cures, rituals, taboos, charms, and omens. It is fully cross referenced for easy browsing. A fascinating reference book for anyone interested in superstitions and their history.
5" x 8" 493 pages, index, select bibliography, paperbound
#502 Dictionary of Superstitions $22.95

 Note: I originally titled this "The First Thanksgiving."
The forgotten Thanksgiving in what is now the United States was actually a Catholic mass in 1598. King Philip II of Spain authorized Don Juna de Onate to lead an expedition to colonize the area above Mexico.
2. De Onate formed an entourage of about 400men, some with families, plus 175 to 200 soldiers.
He had 83 ox-carts, 26 wagons and carriages, and over 2,000 head of livestock.
Stretching 3 miles, this motley procession departed Santa Barbara, Mexico on January 26, 1598 and trekked northward across the Chihuahuan Desert. Eventually they ran out of water.
3. Virtually dying of thirst, the expedition reached the Rio Grande near present-day El Paso, Texas on April 21.
4, After crossing the Rio Grande de Onate gave everyone a week to rest up.
On April 30, 1598 Fra Alfonso Martinez aid a high mass of Thanksgiving.
5. Then deOnate took possession of the territory for Spain and called it New Mexico.

 August 31, 2003

You'll find some surprising, entertaining stories about the origins of holiday traditions in the U.S, in this book:
   Big Apple Almanac Volume One Patrick M. Reynolds brings history to life with great drawings and a sense of humor. Here is the early history of New York: the Vikings in Manhattan, the Dutch settlements, the English take over and some of their most eccentric governors. Also, stories on the Civil War, Tin Pan Alley, and the origin of holidays and their traditions in the U.S.
11¾" x 7" 109 pages, fully illustrated in color, index, paperbound
ISBN 0-932514-19-7
#A1 Big Apple 1 $14.95
#A1 Big Apple Almanac $14.95

Would you like to own an original Flashbacks cartoon? Click Here.
Here are two volumes containing reproductions of Flashbacks cartoons:

 A Cartoon of the District of Columbia Flashbacks Volume One Patrick M. Reynolds brings history to life with a sense of humor. His exciting drawings put you on the scene with the conflicts, madness, plus the wheeling and dealing that resulted in the location and construction of the U.S. capital city. This book covers the early history of DC from 1776 to 1863. You'll be surprised at how many cities served as the U.S. capital; you'll be amazed that the city was built--despite all the bickering, petty jealousies, and down-right stupidity.
11¾" x 7½" 106 pages, full color illustrations, index,
paperbound ISBN 0-932514-31-6

#F1 Cartoon History of DC $25.00
  DC Neighborhoods  Flashbacks Vol. Two Artist-writer Patrick M. Reynolds takes you to the Washington that tourists seldom see The U.S. capital expanded with the growth of public transportation into such areas as Shepard Park, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, Kalorama, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Capital Hill, LeDroit Park, Tenleytown, Brookland, and others. Stories in this book go back to the explorations of Capt. John Smith in the 1600s and the Indian Wars of early Virginia, continuing into the 20th century with the introduction of the cherry trees to Washington and the end of segregation in public schools.
11¾" x 7½" 106 pages, full color illustrations, index, paperbound ISBN 0-932514-31-6
#F2 DC Neighborhoods $14.95
DC Neighborhoods

Previous weeks' stories and references: Autocamping...Baseball History...Combat Artists...The Ghost Army of WWII... Artists in War The Limb Maker...Duke Ellington...Ferries Across the Chessie .. The Italian Crisis...Ninian Beall Sequence.....UFOs Over Washington Culpeper of Virginia...The Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918...Indians of the Eastern Shore of MD & VA...Black Confederates... Pirates on the Chesapeake...Chesapeake Beach...Chesapeake Bay Stories...Ghost stories...Silver Spring MD...Clovers...Hoover Airport...Slavery...President Garfield

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