Thats Christmas 1909, a hundred and one years ago when Cecil Nevard sent this "pre coca-cola" Santa Claus postcard to his nephew, Ernie (Bill) Nevard in Canada. 1909 would have been their seventh Christmas in the New world since they left Essex, U.K. in 1903.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Christmas approaching, how did the early Saskatchwan Nevards spend it? From the daily entries in E.W. (Bill) Nevard's journals we see that it was truly a family event. The usual gathering place was at "The Poplars", the home of Ernest and Mary Nevard for dinner and supper. Both brothers, Horace and Arthur with their families would all manage to get around the kitchen table in the small log house to celebrate christmas.
It was a short trip, usually on foot or by horses and sleighs since all of the families lived on the same section.
Often they would have a home grown turkey from a small flock raised for their own use. Not because it was organic or environmentally friendly, it simply made sense to grow your own to save money. Mail parcels from the T. Eaton company would be received with christmas presents when they could afford them. Letters and cards from relatives still in England would be in the mail too.
And mail was not delivered to your door in those days. The post office was just another farmer's house a few miles to the north where they had to ride horse or ski to pick up the mail , one of the few contacts with the outside world in those days.
Unfortunately no photos of christmas gatherings from those days remain. I have this one of Bill Nevard with one of his favourite horses taken in the 1930s.
And here is one of my favourite links to an excellent tv series called "Victorian Farm" which shows the state of the art farming as it was when my grandparents were still in the U.K.
Victorian Farm Christmas