The 19th Century Christmas

The 19th Century Christmas

Historians tell us that Christmas in the United States and even the world was not celebrated much prior to Charles Dickens. They claim that the Puritans of Boston banned it and that it was “quite dead” in England of the 18th century. That is all false. While some evidence suggests Christmas was quite different it was not the fragmentary thing they made it out to be in America. In fact, if anything was out of the usual when it came to Christmas it was the Puritan attitude about it. But the Puritans honestly never had a chance with their banClick to continue…

What Christmas Was Like for Them

What Christmas Was Like for Them

In my world there are three seasons: baseball, Christmas and family history. These three things are a backdrop to my life as a husband, father, son, and grandfather. It might be a bit unfair to call them seasons because for me none of them really begin and end. I always seem to be engaged in something connected to each of them. But rarely do those worlds ever collide. Today they do in that I want to address Christmas of our forefathers and just what it was like for them. My interest in Christmas is purely accidental. I was raised inClick to continue…

The History of Family Christmas Past

The History of Family Christmas Past

As the holiday season approaches I cannot help but think with great appreciation how much more significant Christmas and Thanksgiving are to me thanks what I have learned of our family history. I am especially grateful for those who left behind little memories of what these special days meant to them. The image above was taken from the war letters of my Grandpa Carl, whose letters came home full of holes, much as the illustration shows. It was reflective of the times and his situation. But it was clearly important to him that he send his love though greetings homeClick to continue…

Getting to Know Albert Smith

Getting to Know Albert Smith

All year long I’ve made reference to a video (or two) coming out about Albert Smith. It is still a work in progress. The challenge stems from what to include and what to leave out in telling of his story. Thanks to Albert’s journals and to a long life lived so close to events of Church and Utah history there is a great deal of information. There is little of the 19th century Mormon experience that Albert didn’t have. He came from a religious family. That led to his conversion sometime in the mid-1830s, a time that saw him joinClick to continue…

Join the Westover Family Christmas Card Exchange

Join the Westover Family Christmas Card Exchange

Christmas! Yes, I’m going there. I know it’s only August. But I tried to set up a family Christmas card exchange last year and failed spectacularly. I think I got it up too late and didn’t put enough push behind it. This year I vow to do better. So, here’s the deal: the Westover Family Christmas Card Exchange is opened to all registered users of the site. But to participate in the exchange you will need to sign up. I’m not expecting huge numbers. But I am hoping enough of us sign up that we get a good little exchangeClick to continue…