Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Tree in Macon, 1861

The first time a Christmas tree was raised in Macon, was in 1861 for the benefit of Confederate soldiers. The Macon Telegraph reported, "Germans have a beautiful custom each Christmas of decorating a tree with a variety of presents for their friends. The tree is displayed on Christmas Eve at each return of the anniversary of our Savior's birth. It is proposed to revive this custom in our approaching holidays, to please the young people and at the same time make a fund for the relief of our beloved soldiers. The entire community, especially the little girls, is invited to furnish articles of handiwork or beautiful, useful ornamental presents for this purpose.  Contributions may be left at Mrs. Dessau's store." On the night before Christmas the same newspaper advised the children of the City to attend the Christmas tree ceremony instead of hanging up their stockings.  The managers of the Christmas tree event secured beautiful and commodious rooms on the second story of the Ayer's Building.  Ladies of the area were asked to send pieces of evergreens for decorating the rooms. A telegram from Santa Claus said that the jolly ol' soul had been "filled with patriotism this Christmas but due to the consequences of War he would not be visiting firesides and adding that sliding down chimneys would greatly soil his suit of clothing.  Instead, Santa would drive directly to the Christmas tree at Ayre's to deposit his presents."