This Christmas season we wish to share from our collection this sweet doll holding two early 19th century holiday booklets for young readers. Children have been receiving dolls and books as gifts for centuries, and we are happy to have these charming mementoes of times gone by.
“Holiday Times” was published in 1825 and bears an inscription on an inside page to "Amy H. Chandler from her Instructor E. Newell." Booklets like these contain simple, moralistic tales meant to entertain children while simultaneously reminding them the benefits of living a virtuous life. “The Christmas Tree” was a “A Christmas and New-Year’s Gift from the Children of the ‘Warren Street Chapel’, January 1st, 1845” and published out of Boston. Each measures approximately 4"x6", has about 20 pages, and is covered by simple paper rather than a sturdier binding. Small books like these were often given out as tokens of merit to good students in district or Sunday schools.
We at the Longmeadow Historical Society wish you and your families a lovely holiday season filled with lots of new toys and good books!
Contributed by Melissa Cybulski, LHS Board Member
Originally published December 23, 2021