OCTOBER

OCTOBER

December 18, 2014

CHRISTMAS EVE 1894...A CHRISTMAS NOVELLA AND A VISIT TO A VICTORIAN HOLIDAY HOME


Have you read any good, romantic novels for the Christmas season?
Here's what's on The Reading Corner List at Estelle's!

Christmas Eve 1894


Wrapped in a cloud of steam, the engine rolled to a stop, 
the screech of metal against metal filling the frosty air. 
Snow blew across the railway platform and 
around Meg’s calfskin walking boots. 
The weather definitely was not improving.
She ordered tea with milk and sugar, eying the currant buns and 
sweet mincemeat tarts displayed beneath a bell jar.

Later, perhaps, when her appetite returned. 
At the moment her stomach was twisted into a knot.

“Anything else for you?” the cashier asked as she handed over the tea, 
steaming and fragrant.
Meg was surprised to find her fingers trembling when she lifted the cup. 
“All I want is a safe journey home.”
“On a day like this?” the round-faced woman exclaimed. 
“None but the Almighty can promise you that, lass.”


I cannot wait to wrap up in a cozy chenille blanket, sip on a hot cappuccino and 
lose myself in a good holiday novella!

We are also going to take a visit to a more romantic period of time.

Every Christmas, my mother would take my sister and I 
to an old southern mansion located in the Belhaven district of Jackson,
 This home hosted a Christmas tea for the Ladies Auxiliary, 
of which my mother was a member. 
We dressed in red velvet dresses, little white tights and black patent mary janes.
Our hair was styled and curled and we wore little white gloves.
There is something about Victorian style homes that have fascinated me for years!
Don't you just wonder what families live within those walls and the stories the house holds?



The massive foyer and the drawing room were dressed to the nines! 


Every room, featured a grand fireplace, with the mantels
decked in balsam fir. 
The scent in the air was of orange cloves and cinnamon.
There was Christmas music playing throughout the house and
beautiful ladies would offer you cups of spiced tea. 


We would follow mother closely, and tour each room,
stopping to chat with familiar faces.
Children were to be seen and not heard, during those times.
We were in awe of the lavish decorations and delighted 
in hearing what everyone's plans were for the Christmas holiday! 


The kitchen was always warm and fragrant.
Cooks were bustling about in their white coats and aprons
barely giving notice to all the visitors! 
This is where I chose to linger a bit, and
imagine that this what it was like to actually live here! 


Yes, the candles were lit and carefully watched.
That warm vanilla scent was so welcoming.
Pine, balsam and cranberries filled every crystal bowl! 


Beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts were presented to the hostess and
 carefully arranged under the numerous Christmas trees. 
These were gifts for the underprivileged children and 
the children who were orphaned. 


We were ushered to the grand formal dining room and 
were each given a little glass plate for our luncheon.
There was a vast array of glorious food on display....
fresh clove-studded hams, turkey, little whippping cream biscuits, spiced pecans, 
pimento cheese straws, fresh fruits, cranberry chutney....
the list goes on and on! 
The women had hot coffee poured from silver urns and 
the children were presented with a tiny crystal cup of Christmas punch! 


And the grand finale was a steamed plum pudding
drenched in a rich custard sauce! 
I will never forget the divine taste of that pudding! 


 As you were leaving the house, you toured the back grounds. There was magic everywhere you looked. Wreaths adorned the windows with big red velveteen bows, large wicker furniture was placed for seating on the huge brick veranda and wrap around porch, Magnolia trees and camellia bushes were huge and had probably been growing there for many years! It was a time etched in my memory!

That's all gone now. The home owner died and the house fell to a state of disrepair. Many of those old mansions in this area, were sold to attorneys who redesigned them for office space. I was never sure the story behind this favorite home of ours. It was torn down when I was in my early twenties. I remember driving by the home often and taking the time to remember all of the lovely Christmas teas we were a part of.  See....you never know what stories reside in these old beauties. Those were joyous days of an Old-fashioned Christmas! 



11 comments:

  1. What beautiful memories...

    What a beautiful home that must have been.

    So sad, that it was lost.

    Keep your memories close.

    And thank you so much, for sharing them, with us.

    Happy coming Christmas,
    Tessa~

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    1. That is so sad isn't it? What a grand dame she was! But, it's also a beautiful memory! Hugs Miss Tessa! Hope you have a fun weekend planned!!! So appreciate your visit today!

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  2. Hi Estelle! Oh, these are just beautiful snaps of Christmas! I wish I could love in these snaps!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. So happy you enjoyed this Shelia! Love your festive holiday home! Thank you so much for taking time to visit today!!

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  3. What a warm, lovely and inviting post! I visit and read your blog everyday, Estelle! It is pure elegance and joy!! I love the beautiful pictures, the memories of your childhood, the adventures of your children and grandchildren, and the heavenly recipes!! I often come back to find the perfect recipe! Thank you for always providing such gracious and thoughtful ideas, messages and images.

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    1. I am so very happy you enjoy Estelle's! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for being a faithful reader!

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  4. Sounds like a great book. I love your new header. So pretty!

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    1. Thank you Deb! I have changed a few looks and am just trying it out for a bit! My dear husband likes the old look, so perhaps it will go back to the original look after Christmas! Hope y'all are having a lovely season up there in Canada! Stay warm and thank you for stoppin gby today!

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  5. Me again. I just now saw the photos in your post. The home was beautiful and what wonderful memories for you as a child with your mom.

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  6. I love hearing about memories and the home is decorated so beautifully. I'm finishing reading The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck, but this one piques my interest. Happy Holidays to you, my friend, XOXO

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    1. Hi there Susan! I will definitely check out The Wedding Dress! Sounds like a good read, just by the title! Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas seaon and enjoying your lovely new home! Hugs!!!

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