This is a fascinating article. I can recall some of these traditions from my childhood and more traditions from listening to my parents and other relatives reminisce. When they start with the reminiscing, they always say, ‘Well, back then…’ I remember letting off fireworks, guns or big flares [Fuzees] at our country home or my grandpa’s. And this quote about meat is right on, I never had steak until I was an adult, either.
Here’s a sample from the blog. There’s lots more but fair use prevents me from quoting more, especially since the author is a professional writer. Check out the website and see what you think. After Christmas, I plan to research the blog and the people there.
Christmas dinner was different, too. Few kept geese, and most were not that crazy about turkey, so Christmas dinner was always chicken or ham. Everybody had chicken and pigs. In fact, in Appalachia, pork was the staple meat. People might have a milk cow, but very few raised cattle for meat. Steak to Appalachians was cubed steak, floured and fried like chicken. I was an adult before I ate what most people think of as steak.
http://www.cornettmedia.com/ninas-blog/old-christmas-as-observed-in-Kentucky. In this post, the author is quoting from a letter submitted to her.
The blog author, Nina Cornett, also has a nice history of Old Christmas.