December 05, 2012

A soldier’s Christmas

For British soldiers in the 1800s Christmas was seen as a special time of year for the men to celebrate.

For regular soldiers in the British Army, Christmas Day was treated as a Sunday. This meant that most men had the day off and religious services were held. Most soldiers saw Christmas as a special day and attempted to prepare for its celebration. Depending on where a soldier was stationed, many would attempt to accumulate more food for Christmas Day in order to hold a special feast. Many took the opportunity to celebrate the day with their fellow soldiers.
McFarland House plaque
Another advantage to Christmas Day was that men were issued new uniforms. All soldiers in the British Army received new clothing once a year on Christmas Day as a gift from the king. Unfortunately, not everyone received a Christmas gift on time. Do to supply problems, many soldiers did not receive their new uniforms on time and were forced to make do with what they had during the long winters in Upper Canada.

This weekend you and your family can experience Christmas in the 1800s by visiting McFarland House and the Laura Secord Homestead for their annual Christmas events. Also, don’t forget to head to Fort Erie on Saturday for their annual Flames across the Niagara event. 

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