December 8, 1826: Happy birthday John Brown, faithful servant of Queen Victoria! After his death in 1883 the queen had a monument to him erected near Balmoral bearing the following description: "This stone is erected in affectionate and grateful remembrance of John Brown, the devoted and faithful personal friend of Queen Victoria, in whose service he had been for thirty-four years. Born at Crathienard, 8th December, 1826. Died at Windsor Castle, 27th March, 1883. That friend on whose fidelity you can count, that friend given you by circumstances over which you have no control, was God's own gift. 'Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!'"
December 14, 1861: Death of Prince Albert. Sir Charles Lyell wrote of the event: "It was many days before I could fully realise it. I went down the day of the evening he died, and at four o'clock, just as the illness took its fatal turn, I found a bulletin at the Palace which led us to hope that the danger was nearly over. I hardly think I ever saw a family where there was more domestic hapiness and good understanding between husband adn wife, and father and children. As to the reserve with which he was charged, I can only say that to me, and I am sure to a multitude of others, he was remarkably open, and talked of all subjects, even the most serious, without the fear of committing himself. The last time I had a full hour's talk tête-à-tête, he went into Educational, Exhibitional, British Museum, and other subjects, and did not mind speaking of his disapointment when he had been overruled, and listened when I did not quite agree with him as to the British Museum with patience, and like one who wished to look at the matter on all sides. I know of no public man in England who was so serious on religious matters, and so unfettered by that formalism and political churchism and conventionalism which rules in our upper classes." --The Leisure Hour, 1882, p. 87.
December 25th: Happy birthday, Clara Barton! The nurse who would found the American Red Cross and earn international praise for her tireless efforts to help the suffering was born on Christmas day, 1821.
December 25th: Christmas "Among all the days we celebrate Christmas stands first and foremost in our thoughts, the holiday of holidays. Coming in the season of frost and snow it brings a cheering warmth to our hearts that defies the icy atmosphere, and the feeling of kindliness and good will toward everyone, which it awakens, seems in response to the words the angels sang on our first Christmas, "On earth peace, good will toward man."... Though we are Americans, our ancestors came from many lands, and we therefore have a right and claim to any custom we may admire in other countries. We may take our Christmas celebrations from any people who observe the day and combining many, evolve a celebration which in its variety will be truly American." —Lina Beard and Adelia Beard. "The American Girls' Handy Book" 1895. pp. 317-318.
PROVISIONS IN SEASON IN DECEMBER Vegetables. - Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, celery, leeks, onions, potatoes, parsnips, Scotch kale, turnips, winter spinach, forced sea-kale Fruit. - Apples, chestnuts, filberts, grapes, medlars, oranges, pears, walnuts, dried fruits as raisins, figs, dates, &c., crystallized preserves, almonds, and all kinds of nuts. —From Isabella Beeton's The Book of Household Management, pages 123-126, 1891 edition.
*** In a seaport town in the late 19th-century Pacific Northwest, a group of friends find themselves drawn together —by chance, by love, and by the marvelous changes their world is undergoing. In the process, they learn that the family we choose can be just as important as the ones we're born into. Join their adventures in The Tales of Chetzemoka Click here to buy Tales of Chetzemoka books.