Monday, November 2, 2015

Glad Tidings and The Holidays in Savannah, Georgia: Christmas Stories and Present Day Holiday Tips from Romantic Inns

Savannah Christmas | Photo courtesy Catherine Ward House Inn B&B
Romantic holidays in Savannah, GA
at Catherine Ward House Inn
SAVANNAH, Georgia -- The New York Times reports on Wednesday, December 28, 1870, that there was a "high and merry carnival among the Savannaese on Monday.... Even the telegraph office was closed, and people seemed to wish to shut themselves out from the rest of the world and enjoy their holiday all to themselves...."

"The great fĂȘte of the people was Christmas.... Time was measured by it: it was either so long 'since Christmas,' or so long 'before Christmas', wrote Thomas Nelson Page (1853-1922) of Social Life in Old Virginia Before the War. "It was the time to 'Shout the glad tidings.' It was The Holidays."

Today the people of in the Hostess City of the South are called Savannahians. The citizens now invite the world to visit for the holidays. There are no masquerading of costumes, no pigeon shoots, no baseballs matches, and no tournaments of "knights in flaming colors..., lance in hand".  Then as now, however, there was "a great deal of shipping in the river".

Oh, the food! 

Instead of the "tough... Florida beef, ... sold in the [city] market [in 1870]" today fine restaurants serve grass-fed local beef from nearby Georgia farms.


Holidays desserts for Christmas | Photo courtesy Zeigler House Inn B&B
Scrumptious holiday desserts
at Zeigler House Inn in the historic district
Around the turn of the 20th century there were candles, oil lamps and in some homes electric lights. Garland, wreaths, vases of winter flowers adorned the doors, tables, fireplaces and banisters of homes. Mistletoe was suspended in the arches where kisses were stolen and young ladies blushed.  Merry throngs gathered sipping eggnog or mulled cider while minuets sedately moved around the room and country dances rollicked with fun and laughter. Midnight suppers included almonds, raisins, apples, oranges, jelly, custard, candy, sugar-plums, cake and Joy Tea Cakes, with daily fare of meats and vegetables.

2015 CHRISTMAS WREATHS: As early as the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas wreaths will begin to adorn doors and light posts in downtown Savannah, Georgia.

From we find the back story of wreaths. "The art of hanging Christmas wreaths originated from the Romans who hung wreaths on their doors as a sign of victory and of their status in society.... Additionally, the victors of sporting events in ancient Greece were given laurel wreaths.... The circle shape of the wreath is made to represent Christ’s eternal love, his strength, and the creation of new life...."  Deck the Doors by Mary Miley Theobald and Libbey H. Oliver, published on, highlights "fifteenth-century Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia" for introducing "boughs of holly, fans of apple, ornaments of dried okra, pomegranate, oystershell, and all things natural" began.

In 2015, less formally, Savannah celebrates romance, parties, and children awaiting Saint Nicholas.  

During the Victorian era, marriageable young men came to call at the home of the ladies of their fancy to leave their calling cards in the afternoon, in the hopes that the lady would grace them with a dance that evening at the party held at a friend’s or neighbor’s home. Christmas was a time when parents and marriageable ladies and gentlemen partied at holiday balls, teas, and dinners. The winter social holiday season was the time of merry making and courting, for weddings were held in the spring. While their parents partied, it was a time when children were in their beds, dreaming of sweets, treats and gifts they would get, if they were good, from that jolly old elf, Santa.

Christmas recipes at Savannah cooking classes | Photo courtesy Sandy Traub
Fun things to do in Savannah, GA:
Holiday Cooking Classes with Chef Darin Sehnert

When you arrive in the National Landmark Historic District, see if you can conjure up the enthusiasm of arriving from the plantations, and driving through one of the six big city gates to party for The Holidays. One gate was Bethesda Gate, located on President Street (once King Street) near Columbia Square.

December 20, 2015, Sunday. Ride to Wormsloe State Park, Georgia oldest plantation for a Colonial Christmas at Wormsloe, 1 PM to 4 PM. Participate in activities such as caroling, burning of the yule log, dancing to live period music, and other holiday observances of the colonial period, including games and refreshments.

For lunch or dinner, you'll can savor the colonial Habersham family home of one of Savannah's most prominent and wealthy families, while feasting in the finest of white tablecloth style at the Olde Pink House.

Tour the Green-Meldrim mansion on Madison Square. It is where Union General William T. Sherman took up his headquarters during the Civil War. On December 22, 1864, it is from this prestigious home that General Sherman wrote to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, announcing that Savannah had been surrendered. Sherman wired Lincoln with the message, “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.” Source:  Read more about the Savannah Christmas of 1864 in General Sherman's Christmas" by Stanley Weintraub.

Each Romantic Inns innkeeper will have more stories, holidays places to visit, and wonderful eateries for holiday dining. Glad tidings, indeed, for your Christmas in Savannah! Contact all the inns with one click here!

P.S. Pack along some new 2015 CHRISTMAS STAMPS! You'll want to send Christmas cards from Savannah! "A Charlie Brown Christmas" stamps are now available, reports To celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, United States Postal Service has released stamp booklets that feature 10 scenes from the classic TV special.

Copyright © 2015 Romantic Inns of Savannah, Georgia USA. 

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