An editor’s musing on Christmas season 1903

It was Thursday, Dec. 24, and Friday, Dec. 25, 1903, and the Durango Democrat appeared as usual. Editor David Day was in fine form, as usual, and promised to take the next day off. Maybe because of the day, he seemed more laid-back than usual. That, however, did not mean that he still did not have a few issues and causes with which to beguile his readers.

Dec. 24

Durango has a brisk and active competition in dry goods, clothing and had hardware three essentials that create trade, but none in food products.

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There will be a dance given on Friday evening, Christmas night, to which all the members of the Entre Nous, both old and new members are invited and requested to attend. We have this from the committee.

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Remember the Salvation Army tomorrow. Stop your subscriptions to the Democrat if it is necessary to help the poor.

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Turkeys were sold at 17 cents dress yesterday by the grower. We paid 20 and cheerfully did so. They are worth it.

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The snow has fell.

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Bids will be received for supplying the county with coal for the ensuing year. Delivered. Bid specify for mine run, lamp and nut coal.

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The schools of La Plata County which will hold entertainment are Bayfield, Columbus, Pine River, Hermosa, Cascade, La Posta, Florida Mesa, Hesperus, Ignacio Station and lower Animas. Interesting programs have been prepare for this special evening.

Dec. 25

Christmas, here we are, the one great holiday – today – this day will, should must be one of good cheer. A rest from labor, a reckoning with time – and the coal pirates. (He was usually upset with the price of coal no matter what the day.)

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Today will let us open the purse to every cry of sorrow – to every tale of woe. For was not the birth of Christ the most glorious event in all history? There is no other day so grand – there never will be one so universally popular. So jar loose and make life brighter for those who inherit through generosity that sunshine that penetrates the sorry bred by want. The redeemer loveth a cheerful giver.

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There were a number of Christmas trees last night. There were more this morning. Bless the tots.

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And at houses “tots” are happy this morning. Childhood’s happy days.

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The choir of the Catholic church will render Millard’s mass in G assisted by the Durango symphony orchestra at 10 o’clock today.

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School teachers are very generally off to attend the association in Denver. May a good time await them.

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The schedule [what followed as a list of the special drinks that Durango’s 11 saloons were offering on honor of the day. A few examples follow.]

Horseshoe – Tom and Jerry Kellenberger – Thomas Jerry and egg nog with wine punch. El Moro – Royal Purple Punch, Jerry and Thomas. Strater – egg nog with nog – everything goes.

Duane Smith is a Fort Lewis College history professor. Reach him at 247-2589.

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