Historic Holidays with the Littleton Museum
December 4 through December 25, 2020
This year the Littleton Museum invites the community to share in a “safer at home” way to celebrate the season. The interpretation and curatorial staff at the museum will be creating a series of holiday videos and other fun materials that can be accessed from the warm comfort of home. A few holiday-themed puzzles and crafts will add some creativity to the mix and will also be shared via this web page.
Historic Holidays with the Littleton Museum virtual programming is supported by the Friends of the Littleton Library and Museum.
Historic Holidays Videos
Below are a few videos that explore the historic origins of modern holiday baking traditions such as plum pudding, gingerbread, and popcorn making. Check back next week for a video from our Blacksmith shop on metal ornaments.
Historic Holidays Kitchen - Plum Pudding Video
Historic Interpreters Andrea Wilhelm and Cory Van Zytveld show how plum pudding would have been made both in the 1860s and the 1890s.
Historic Holidays Kitchen - Gingerbread Video
Historic Interpreters Andrea Wilhelm and Cory Van Zytveld show how gingerbread would have been made in both the 1860s and the 1890s.
Historic Holidays Kitchen - Popcorn Video
Historic Interpreters Andrea Wilhelm and Cory Van Zytveld explore how people in the 1860s and 1890s used a common food item, popcorn, to make gifts for friends and family members.
Historic Holidays - Blacksmith Ornament Video
The last video of the Littleton Museum's Historic Holidays program features blacksmith Chuck Jackson making ornaments in the Littleton Museum Blacksmith Shop. Be sure to check it out and find the crafts section at the bottom of this page to make your own ornaments, paper versions so no forging required.
Historic Holidays from the Littleton Collection
Explore holiday-related objects from the Littleton Museum’s collection and what they reveal about the history of holidays in the Littleton community.
Toleware spice box and matching spice tins, c.1870, Littleton Museum collections.
Baking during the holidays is a historic tradition, and making gingerbread is a classic favorite! One of the main ingredients is ginger (obviously), but some recipes also call for cinnamon, cloves, mace, allspice, or nutmeg. Ginger was available fresh, but “candied” or crystallized ginger would last longer in storage.
In the late 1800s, spices were often purchased whole, in bulk, and packaged up in paper, then ground and stored at home in containers. A special gift like this toleware box with matching tins would hold precious spices used for holiday baking. Toleware is usually made of tin, painted black or in a dark color, and decorated with gold accents to mimic Japanese lacquerware. The tin canisters were easy to clean, lightweight, and unbreakable.
What are your favorite spices for holiday baking? To experience baking plum pudding and gingerbread in the 1860s and 1890s, watch the “Historic Holidays Kitchen" videos above, featuring Littleton Museum Historic Interpreters Andrea Wilhelm and Cory Van Zytveld. You can download the historical recipes they used to try your own version or share your family recipe for holiday baking on social media using the hashtags:
Historic Holiday Puzzles, Crafts, and Coloring Pages
Please enjoy these holiday-themed puzzles and crafts for some at home creativity and festive fun.
Historic Holidays Kitchen Word Search
Historic Holidays Kitchen World Scramble
|Historic Holidays Kitchen Word Scramble|
Historic Holidays Kitchen Crossword Puzzle
|Historic Holidays Kitchen Crossword Puzzle|
1860s Cabin in Snow - Coloring Page
|1860s Cabin in Snow Coloring Page|
1860s Kitchen Table - Coloring Page
|Kitchen Table Coloring Page|
Spice Box - Coloring Page
|Spice Box Coloring Page|
Ornaments as Gifts - Craft
|Ornaments as Gifts Craft|
Paper Ornaments - Craft
|Paper Ornaments Craft|