Christmas in North Carolina

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The Library offers several books that focus on Christmas in North Carolina, including:


The Angel DollThe Angel Doll: A Christmas Story
by Jerry Bledsoe
Asheboro, NC: Down Home Press, 1996

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This heart-warming story, a true tale from Bledsoe’s childhood in Thomasville, focuses on a boy spending his hard-earned savings on a special doll for his beloved little sister. This seems likely to become a Christmas classic.

The book's sequel, A Gift of Angels, (Asheboro: Down Home Press, 1999) includes information about "Mutt" Burton, the author of the next book on this list, whom Bledsoe met when he was a young reporter.

Christmas in My Bones
By W. C. "Mutt" Burton
Asheboro, NC: Down Home Press, 1991.

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Burton, who was born in 1908, writes about Christmas during his childhood in Reidsville. He enjoyed customs that are still beloved today, as well as such lost traditions as setting off fireworks on Christmas Eve. His line "I have been a Christmas watcher all my years," summarizes the book.

As I Remember - A Boy in the ‘Twenties
By Roy Griffin
1967

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Griffin’s nostalgic memories of the 1920s in Greensboro include his Christmas memories, which sound much like our celebration today, except that Griffin and his friends received riding toys called "Irish Mails." I got one as a child; does anyone else remember them?

A North Carolina Christmas: Photography by George Humphries and David Crosby
Edited by Jan Keifer

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This is a beautiful book with many color photographs. There are descriptions of Moravian Christmases, Old Christmas on the Outer Banks, and other traditions, as well as descriptions of places to visit during the holidays. And, there are wonderful recipes. Don’t miss this holiday favorite.

Christmas Stories by North Carolina Writers, and Twelve Poems, Too 
Edited by Ruth Moose
Asheboro, NC: Down Home Press, 1997

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This year, include this small book in your holiday celebration.The writers include Lee Smith, Marianne Gingher, and Kaye Gibbons.

Old Times Not Forgotten. Volume II
by Walter H. Sills
Greensboro: Cedar Bend Printing, 1996

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Walter Sills’ book includes two stories of his own experiences at Christmas in Greensboro. His point is that indeed, this is a season of 'peace on earth, goodwill towards men.'

The April-June, 1917, issue of The Journal of American Folklore included a brief article on "Old Christmas in Guilford County, North Carolina." It's in the North Carolina Collection’s Guilford File under "Folklore." Many people used to talk about cows and horses getting on their knees to pray before "sun-up" on "Old Christmas." They also said that daybreak came twice on this day. Older people refused to work on Old Christmas, but that seemed to be the only celebration held. The article does not give a date for Guilford County’s Old Christmas, although we assume it was January 6; there is mention of a woman using coal to mark on the whitewashed fireplace lintel each day during the 12 days after Christmas. Older folks in 1917 talked about a time when a naughty child would find in his Christmas stocking nothing but switches and a very naive young man believed in Santa Claus until he was 18.