Celebrating ChristmasJudging from the fact of Louisa's all too brief account of the day and from the fact of Charlotte's absence from the family not only for the day but for the night as well, one may wonder if Christmas has the importance in Louisa's world that it would come to have later in the 19th and 20th centuries.
"In England after the Reformation the observance [of Christmas] became a crux between Anglicans and other Protestants, and the celebration of Christmas was suppressed in Scotland and in much of New England until the 19th cent." (under "Christmas.")It may be that the observance of Christmas in 19th century Nova Scotia was more in the tradition of New England and Scotland than in that of England. If so, perhaps the observations of Catherine Parr Traillare as applicable to Nova Scotia in 1815 as they were to Upper Canada in 1832:
"When I first came to Canada, I was much surprised at the cold indifference which most people showed in their observance of Christmas Day. . . . For in those days there was no dressing of the houses or churches with evergreens as is now so generally the custom [she is writing in 1854]. . . . There be many--who with a scoffing eye look upon the decoration of our hearths and altars on that day, and loudly condemn it as a rag of Romanism.—The Canadian Settler's Guide, 1855, pp. 227-28
Traill's remark about New Year's seems to have an echo in Louisa's entry for the eve of that day--if one may judge by the activity at Colin Grove on that occasion (see D31).