(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Deerfield. Dec. 26th 1876
note came to me last evening
and was the best birthday
present I could have and I
doubt not you are thinking
of me today as I am of you.
If the years must go by it is
pleasant to have the events re-
membered by those we love, that
small circle, so sure to be smaller
I shall try to bear my 38 yrs
with dignity, to be sure. I can
look upon something accomplished
in our four children. I only
hope my life will be spared
another 15 years to see them well
started in life.
It is a gloomy, snowy day, and
Violet and I are feeling slightly
the affects of the Christmas
excitement with a slight cold
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The Puritans of early New England purposefully suppressed the celebration of Christmas, citing a lack of biblical basis for December 25 as the day to commemorate Christ's birth. Rather, the time around the winter solstice in England was traditionally marked by raucous carnival similar to Mardi Gras and was steeped in pagan traditions. As the eighteenth century wore on, key New England clergy began to see the value in positioning Christmas as a religious holiday, where the emphasis was on spiritual reflection and the family circle. By the mid-nineteenth century, many of the Christmas traditions we recognize today were in practice. On December 26, 1876, Agnes Gordon Higginson Fuller, wrote describing the family's Christmas from Deerfield, Massachusetts, to her husband, George, who stayed in Boston to work in his art studio. She reports of a number of familiar rituals like putting "a few things" in her three-year-old daughter's stocking, placing a gift on the plates of each of their four children, and having a special family meal.
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Letter to George Fuller from wife Agnes regarding Christmas
| author Agnes Gordon Higginson Fuller (1838-1924)
| date Dec 26, 1876
| location Deerfield, Massachusetts
| width 5.0"
| height 7.25"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L05.138
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