Tag Archives: Christmas in Appalachia

The Santa Train pulls into town

In Appalachia Santa Claus comes the weekend before Thanksgiving. Since 1943, the Santa Special, more commonly known as the Santa Train, has traveled 110 miles through the mountains of eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and northeastern Tennessee to distribute loads of candy, toys and other goodies to eager bystanders, most of whom have made it a […]

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They’s heaps o folks here still believe on Old Christmas

OLD CHRISTMAS They’s heaps o’ folks here still believe On Christmas – that’s Old Christmas – Eve, The elders bloom upon the ground, And critters low and kneel around In every stall, though none I know Has seen them kneel, or heard them low, Unless, maybe, ‘t was Judith Daughn And she’s been dead these […]

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Breakin’ up Christmas

Breakin’ Up Christmas is both the name for 12 days of partying, dancing, and music making ending up on January 6th, Old Christmas day, and also a song sung during that period. The tradition harks from the area that roughly includes Surry County NC, nearby Grayson and Carroll counties in VA, and the independent city […]

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The Holly Tree (a 4th century Christmas tale)

It was about the third day on the road to Egypt, when trouble started. Joseph had stopped to rest Jack, who by the way, was grinning from ear to ear. Jack, the donkey, was seeing the world for the first time. Joseph climbed a large rock to look around the countryside. There was trouble coming […]

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A Jack Tale for Christmas

“A long time ago, when Jack was growin’ up, his daddy give him a brand new shotgun for Christmas. Obviously, Jack was as proud as a peacock over this new gift. He wanted to show his daddy just how proud he was by going out and gettin a whole mess of game on his first […]

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