Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Eighteenth-Century Christmas

Last weekend was my annual foray into the eighteenth-century holidays.

Doesn't it look inviting? The view from outside gave me shivers--with no electric lights or other modern intrusions, one could feel like one was spying on a party 200 years ago. Of course, I wondered if we might be creating family ghost stories, as the house was on a country thoroughfare...

The highlight, of course, was the people, and spending time in our favorite time period in a house that makes imagining it's 1780 easy. Fires roaring on the hearths, a bowl of punch, candles in the windows.

After dinner, we had dancing. A few rounds proved to us why dancing masters and schools were employed so heavily during the period. We spent fifteen minutes or so learning each dance, then dancing it was done in a matter of minutes. Just think, we thought, how much more dancing we would have done if we already knew all the dances! Even so, learning and dancing was quite a bit of fun.

After dancing we spent a few hours of conversation--some quiet, some uproarious. The punch bowl was refilled. The fires were stoked. Tidings of comfort and joy took on whole new layers of meaning.

Pure contentment, with a cup of hot punch, the warmth of the fire behind me, and the delightful rustle of silk whenever I moved.

And, of course, good friends.
Photos taken by various friends at the event and nicked from Facebook


Isis said...

Looks very ncie and cosy!

Ax said...

Looks like a great version of the holidays... not a tv ad in sight!

Sharmon said...

I'm trying not to be (too) jealous of your "time traveling". Seems so wonderful and the pics are great.

Jill said...

Oh! There's nothing better than a bowl of punch and a minuet (that's about the only 18th C dance I know). How lovely.

Rowenna said...

Isis--it was so cosy--like a hug in party form :)

Ax--no kidding--this is the way Christmas is supposed to be!

Sharmon--thanks :) I can't take credit for the pics--they were taken by folks more talented than I with a camera!

Jill--the punch was amazing. I'm going to post a similar recipe this week, because everyone has got to try this stuff. And we didn't do the minuet, unfortunately--we stuck to country dances :)

Atlanta said...

Such a lovely get-together! Thanks for sharing pictures!

This makes me sad - our 1860s reenactment group usually has a Christmas weekend like this at a historic fort, but it burned down this fall, so we will have to skip this year :^(