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A Museum of History and Art in historic Lipscomb, Texas
Map 13310 Highway 305 · P.O. Box 5
Lipscomb, Texas 79056
806-852-2123
staff@wolfcreekheritagemuseum.org
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December 7, 2008

WOLF CREEK HERITAGE MUSEUM NOTES
by Virginia Scott

MUSEUM HAPPENINGS

The museum is looking like Christmas with our aluminum tree reflecting the color wheel and the tradition tree in the pioneer room. Our popcorn strings and paper ornaments still look pretty good but the group voted that our artifical tree is ready for replacement. However it does look antique (very well worn). We have poinsettas throughout so we are festive. We even have carols if you want so come on out and visit us and do some Christmas shopping.

Lots of people are buying our history books for relatives this year for their family histories. Maybe it is time to start planning a new decade of family histories. Any volunteers.

As you read this, Mildred Becker is in Dallas for Surgery and Radiation treatments. Our thoughts and prayers are with her.

We are busy planning next years exhibits and programs. If you have any suggestions or requests , now is the time to submit them.

HISTORICAL MUSINGS

Christmas trees

Depending on what reference you use, the history of the Christmas Tree is either attributed to a pagan practice related to the Winter Solitice , or to a 7th century monk who used the triangular shape of the fir tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Whichever version you wish to believe we do know that our American practices are a blend of traditions from Germany and England.

In the mid 16th Century, Christmas markets in Germany sold gifts and bakers sold shaped gingerbreads and wax ornaments as souvenirs of the fair and for hanging on their Christmas Trees . A record from Strasbourg in 1601 states "wafers and golden sugar-twists (Barleysugar) and paper flowers of all colours " were used to decorate trees.It is felt that these trees were biblically symbolic of the Paradise Tree in the Garden of Eden. The food ,a symbol for Plenty, the flowers originally only red for knowledge and white for innocence .

American trees were introduced by the German Hessian Soldiers , the Cattle Barons from Britain and Canada, and the East Coast was influenced by the English Court. Decorations were not easy to find in frontier settlements so people began to make their own decorations. Tin was peirced to create lights and lanterns to hold candles which could shine through the holes. Decorations were cutout, stitched and glued from old magazines, rolls of cotton Batting, and tinsel. The Paper "Putz " or Christmas Crib was a popular feature under the tree especially in the Moravian Dutch communities in Pennsylvania.

In the 1880's in Germany, the first articifial tree "The Goose Feather Tree" was invented to combat some of the damage being done to Fir trees in the Name of Christmas. In America, the Addis Brush Company created the first brush trees, using the same machinery which made their toilet brushes!

Large Trees were erected in public places during wartime to give moral to the people since most could not have a tree in their homes. Postwar saw a revival of the traditional Christmas and the return of large real Christmas trees. "The Silver Pine "trees patented in the 1950's was designed to have a revolving light source under it, with coloured gelatine "windows" which allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree. No decorations were needed for this tree.

Our decorations continue to revolve around the European Victorian style Trees with decorations becoming more elaborate each year. Themes such as Starry Starry Night tree, Twilight Tree, the Snow Queen Tree, or themes on one color, one style ornament, etc. are popular as ever.

Whatever your family does a theme tree or a traditional tree or even on tree. Have a Merry Christmas.

NOTE of condolence: Again, we have lost one of our citizens. Tom Hardison , Higgins , passed away over the weekend. Our condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.


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