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A Michigan Christmas Day in the 1850's

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This painting could depict a typical Christmas Day in Michigan in the 1850's, 1860's, or earlier. There would not have been a celebration. It was a normal work day.


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Thank you, cilycoed. ; )

Where are you that you have high temps and high humidity? I would be melting since I breathe easier when it is cool/cold.


Lovely puzzle, many thanks RoseHeather. While you all are cold we are sweltering in high temps and 90 - 100% humidity. It's more years than I care to remember since I last experienced a 'White Christmas' and yes, I envy each of you.

Best wishes for 2013 - Phyllis


Where are you, Fodus?

In the US there are warnings for blizzards and winter weather across the states of Indiana and Ohio for tomorrow. It is coming out of the Great Plains area of the US.

It will come up into our area and bring about 2 or 3 inches tomorrow afternoon.


So sorry to read, Schutkleur, that you are having rain. Not exactly a "white" Christmas!

We had a short trip to a neighboring town, yesterday, which is about 11 miles away. There were big, big snowflakes falling so it was beautiful. In the brief time we were there, and started home there was enough snow on the roads to make driving a very slow process. What should take maybe 10 - 12 minutes took us nearly 50 minutes. But it was pretty and I didn't mind the slow travel. We still have snow today, and our temps are in the mid-twenties.

I just found a conversion chart that will automatically give the temperature in the other form. I typed in your 15 C and it converts to 32 fahrenheit. So mid-20's F, according to the auto calculator is -3.8888888888888893 ; ) The site is here:


We had lots of rain during the day and then it got colder and turned to snow, so when we woke up we had a white covering. Then it thawed during the day and our gravel roads were soupy. When we came home from our Christmas Eve service and then our family dinner, they were solid. It is still white out there.


It`s a lovely picture, Roseheather!! And thank you for the historical info. I like learning things!!!
How`s your weather?? Are you having a white Christmas?
We had 15 degrees C yesterday and it`s raining a lot :((((


Oh, yes, gnt 1041. I do appreciate a good Michigan winter. Some, however, are a little shy on snow some years. Thanks.


Michigan residents didn't celebrate Christmas until after the Civil War when returning soldiers brought home stories of Christmas Day in the South. In addition, magazines, which were more available after the 1860's, gave householders ideas of what Christmas Day could be like elsewhere.

Many Michigan early settlers had arrived here from New England states where the Puritan influence was stronger. A Michigan author, Larry B. Massie has written about these early Christmases in the Kalamazoo area. Farmers went about their daily chores and there was no Christmas Day celebration.

Slowly Christmas began to be celebrated in the late 1860's and onward. Initially there would be a tree at the town or city hall. If not at the town hall, then there might be a tree at a school house. But those initial celebrations were as a community and not by individual families.


Nice pic. How well I know the snow in Michigan LOL