oberlin ohio bed and breakfast
14945 Hallauer Rd. Oberlin, OH 44074

Hallauer House B&B Blog

21 Dec

Decorated for a Civil War Christmas Celebration

The Confederate Room, the Union Room, the Mason/Dixon Suite, these are the rooms that you will find in the Hallauer House Bed and Breakfast. Here you can touch a Civil War sword, inspect a Union and Confederate uniform, find out what a lap desk is, see and touch other Civil War artifacts and peruse a library of books and publications about the Civil War. And with the season of Christmas, you can now also enjoy a Civil War Christmas tree right in your room and learn how the holiday was celebrated in the 1860’s.

The Christmas tree originated in Germany in the early 1800’s and the idea of the decorated tree slowly made it’s way to America. By 1861 most homes had a Christmas tree and mistletoe. Green tree boughs were placed around the mantles and table tops, stockings were hung, special foods were prepared, small gifts were presented to children and servants, and Christmas cards were sent to relatives unable to travel the long distances. But because commercial ornaments were not available until the late 1800’s families gathered around and made their own tree decorations. Imagine now making all of your tree ornaments!

Back in the day the family would start by making stings of popcorn and cranberries to use as garland around the tree. Then they got to work to make popcorn balls and dry fruit such as oranges, grapefruit, apples, pears, lemons that could be hung on the tree branches after a string or ribbon was punched through. Pine cones, nuts, and small gifts, such as, little books, paint boxes, jewelry, pencils, balls decorated with burlap, fabric and ribbons, and little trinkets and small toys were all hung. Paper was used to make cones which were then filled with hard candies and hung by ribbons on the trees. Small penny rug ornaments were made of wool to hang. At the end of some tree branches a small candle was attached and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the candles were lit, though for just a very short time. 

Stockings on the mantle were usually filled with hard candies, apples, oranges, balls of wool, a pair of gloves, hats, and scarves. The first illustration of Santa was done by Thomas Nast in 1863. It portrayed Santa in an outfit of striped pants and star spangled jacket making ‘Santa’ a Union patriot.

This year at Hallauer House we have decorated a Civil War Christmas tree for each guest room. On each you will find the popcorn and cranberry garland, dried fruits, small toys, balls of burlap and fabric, little penny rung ornaments, cones filled with candy, and pine cones hung with ribbons. What you will not find is the candle! But we have cheated just a little and instead of wax candles that burn, you will find little electric candles just to add that touch of glow! 

We invite you to come and be our guest this holiday. Enjoy the Christmas tree and fireplace in your room, the large tree in the downstairs, and the decorated mantles with candle light. Have a 4 course breakfast in the glow of a candle lit dining room. So give us a call when you want to experience a Christmas past.

And if you are still looking for a perfect gift for that someone special, we do have Gift Certificates available. Why give stuff when you can give the gift of love and history!

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