Friday, December 24, 2010

Founding Era Christmas Cheer

My favorite Yuletide Founding factoid is George Washington's contract with his gardener:

"In consideration of these things being well and truly performed on the part of said Philip Bater, the said George Washington doth agree to allow him. . . four dollars at Christmas with which he may be drunk 4 days and 4 nights, two dollars at Easter to effect the same purpose; two dollars also at Whitsuntide, to be drunk two days, a Dram in the morning and a drink of Grog at Dinner or at Noon."

As pointed out elsewhere here at American Creation, Christmas wasn't a big religious holiday back in the day. But it was twice as important as Easter or Whitsuntide [Pentecost] for getting good and loaded.

Four days drunk and four whole dollars to do it with! Now, that's a verrrrrrry Merry Christmas, and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. [Or four of them!]

[And don't miss GWash's eggnog recipe, which'll clean out half your liquor cabinet!]

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