Tag Archives: appalachian culture

The Cherry Tree Carol (abridged)

JOSEPH was an old man, And an old man was he, When he wedded Mary In the land of Galilee. Joseph and Mary walk’d Through an orchard good, Where was cherries and berries So red as any blood. Joseph and Mary walk’d Through an orchard green, Where was berries and cherries As thick as might […]

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Put the children’s packages in their stockings

DECEMBER 1915 FRIDAY 24 “Well, the chittlings, a part of them Alice sent over by Pete. They were intestines cleaned ready to cut into short pieces to fry. I told Tillie she needn’t fry any for me. They stood in water two or three days and by that time they were smelling like ‘all get […]

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Ms. Horse, Ms. Mule and Ms. Cow — a Christmas fable

Mary sure did have some problems living in that barn. When baby Jesus was born, Joseph needed a crib, so he put some fresh hay in Ms. Horse’s feeding trough. Nobody asked Ms. Horse if they could use her food basket—her manger—for a crib. Once her manger was filled with straw nobody said Ms. Horse […]

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The Belsnickle: definitely NOT Santa Claus

Up until the second World War, if a Shenandoah Valley [VA] family was a member of the Lutheran or Reformed church, the children could expect a Christmas Eve visit from the Belsnickle. The practice might even go well beyond just one evening, running for nearly two weeks, starting a week before Christmas and continuing until […]

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For Christmas – the whimmydiddle or the flipperdinger?

Computer games haven’t always dominated the world of childrens’ toys. Two classic wooden folk toys, the whimmydidle and the flipperdinger, have been enjoyed by children for hundreds of years throughout Appalachia. These toys were handmade by people for their own use. Many of the designs for such folk toys were passed down from one generation […]

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