Christmas 1850

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

This holiday season, many families will decorate Christmas trees and front yards with dazzling electric lights, travel long-distance, maybe hundreds of miles to visit relatives, or turn up the central heat and do some online shopping for gifts. A lot has changed about how we celebrate and survive the winter months over the past 160 years. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with Land Between the Lakes Homeplace Lead Interpreter Cindy Earls about how farm families celebrated Christmas in 1850.


Shoppers today sift through huge inventories of "Black Friday" sale merchandise at area retailers, but shopping for Christmas gifts used to be much simpler 160 years ago. So says Land Between the Lakes Special Events Coordinator Cindy Earls. She says, on Christmas mornings back then, children might only receive an orange, some candy, a pair of socks or, maybe, as a special treat, a doll or a pocket knife. Earls says, after opening their gifts, 19th Century Western Kentucky farm families would visit neighbors. LBL's Homeplace celebrates Christmas 1850 Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.