Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Young Historians Handout: Christmas Garlands

December 16. 2009

Dear Young Historians:

Today’s activity is decorating for a 1930’s Christmas. The motto “Repair, reuse, make do and don’t throw anything away” extended to the holidays.

A Christmas tree would be cut down in the woods. Children would help to decorate it with garlands made of paper. Paper doll and snowflake chains would also be made, and cut out snowflakes would be hung in the windows. Stringing popcorn was another popular activity.

If you could afford it, there were special Christmas movies to see. Two popular ones are still shown on TV. They can also be rented. These included: “Babes in Toyland” with Laurel and Hardy (1934) and “Scrooge” with Reginald Owen (1938)

We’ve included a story called “Christmas in the 1930s,” by Tomm Larson.[Available on-line at http://mymerrychristmas.com/2005/xmas30s.shtml] Share this with your family and friends. Notice things that you do that “Grandpa” did in the 1930s.

Some on-line resources for snowflake patterns and other ideas for garlands:

Paper Snowflakes Some of the patterns are based on William Bentley’s photographs. Bentley was called “The Snowflake Man” because he was the first person to photograph ice crystals from snow on his farm in Jericho, Vermont.

Popcorn Garland This can be a treat for the birds after the holiday season ends.

Paper Chains

If you like to fold and cut, try making a Christmas Tree with a star using the technique Kirigami

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