History Nuggets: 1889 First White House Christmas Tree

President Benjamin Harrison and his family introduced the first indoor White House Christmas tree in the upstairs oval room, the family’s private parlor.  The White House at this point lacked electrical power, so the family decorated their tree with candles…as many did.   The People’s House received electricity in 1891.

Benjamin Harrison, (1833 – 1901), 23rd President of the United States  and  the grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison, created the only grandfather-grandson duo to hold the office.

What was happening in 1889?…Eiffel Tower opens, commemorates French Revolution…Dakotas, Montana and Washington admitted to the union…Bayer introduces aspirin in powder form (Germany).

Inspiring photo by Pinterest

History Nuggets: 1903 – Christmas tree smuggled inside the White House

President Theodore Roosevelt and his wife hosted a carnival at the White House for more than 500 children. They served a favorite of many past presidents — ice cream molded into the shape of Santa Claus. President Roosevelt did not approve of chopping down evergreens, so he banned them from the White House. However, his son smuggled in a tree and hid it in the sewing closet.

Theodore Roosevelt, 1858 – 1919, the 26th president of the United States (1901–09).

Inspirational photo by Pinterest

History Nuggets: White House snowball fight

Christmas in 1834 brought no snow to Washington, DC. However, that did not stop President Andrew Jackson from having a snowball fight inside the White House for his children and his friends children. The party was lively with dinner, games and singing…ending with throwing snowballs made of cotton on the ready for a friendly rumpus.

What was happening in 1834?…In August…Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire…In October…1st black to obtain a U.S. patent, Henry Blair, for a corn planter…In November… Delmonico’s, one of New York’s finest restaurants, provides a meal of soup, steak, coffee and half a pie for 12 cents.

Uncomplicated thoughts: You can

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” —J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Inspiring photo by Tara McLaughlin

Uncomplicated thoughts: Magic

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

This quote is from Roald Dahl’s last children’s story, “The Minpins.”  In fact it is the very last line of that very last story.

Inspirational photo by Pixabay

History Nuggets: Mayflower Pilgrims and home brew

Beer was key…beer was safer to drink than water especially aboard ship. So yes, the Mayflower Pilgrims carried their beer across the Atlantic…

William Bradford mentioned their need for beer when he recalled the day they set out for what would be known as Plymouth:

“So in the morning, after we had called on God for direction, we came to this resolution — to go presently ashore again and to take a better view of the two places which we thought most fitting for us; for we could not now take much time for further search or consideration, our *victuals being much spent, especially our **beer.”

Original source:  William Bradford’s daily journal.

*Victuals – provisions, food

**Out of beer, the Pilgrims were forced to live off water. Beer was viewed as a health drink. It was fairly low on alcohol and didn’t make one sick like the water from many streams and wells in Europe.  Cheers!

Inspirational photo by Pixabay



Haiku: The Chestnut

Soft sweet and creamy

Roasted on open fire

Seasonal delight

Haiku by PamelaWLucas 11/21/17

Inspirational photo by Pixabay

Try roasting chestnuts over an open fire. Rinse and score the shells, then put the nuts in a cast iron frying pan flat side down. If you have a fireplace or campfire going, move things around so there is a bed of glowing coals upon which the pan can rest. Place the pan on the coals for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!