Long before Bing Crosby recorded the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” in 1943, folks were trying to get home for Christmas. In the Dec. 21, 1900, issue of The Flume, it was reported that the railroads were helping by lowering fares.
For Christmas Day. Everyone desires to spend Christmas at home. To help you do this, the Colorado and Southern has put in the very low rate of one fare for the round trip to all points on its line in Colorado and New Mexico. Tickets will be for sale Dec. 22, 23 and 31 and Jan. 1, good returning until Jan. 2. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900).
George M. Teter, who was born in 1861 and died in 1944, is still with us in spirit at the Fairplay Cemetery. His son, George W. Teter, married Edith Almgren, namesake of Edith Teter Elementary School. George W. died in 1997.
Those who stayed in Fairplay for the holidays could find a number of activities to celebrate Christmas, such as a dinner and dance at Hotel Windsor. The Windsor was closed after a 1921 fire, and the Fairplay Hotel, designed by prominent Denver architect William N. Bowman, was constructed in its place the following year.
Dance. Christmas night, 25th, good music, supper at Hotel Windsor. Take your family and go to the Windsor for dinner Christmas. No expense will be spared and everything cooked to suit the taste. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
Shopping has always been a part of the Christmas holiday.
See Abbott’s holiday goods before buying your Xmas present. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
H. Hill, the Alma jeweler, carries a full line in holiday goods. See them before purchasing Christmas presents. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
There will be a Christmas tree at the Methodist church on Christmas Eve for the Sunday school children. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900).
In Alma, holiday calendars, Christmas gifts, a hotel reopening and the weather topped the local news.
M. L. Byerley, Alma’ s popular druggist has presented his patrons with fine oil chromo picture calendar for 1901. They are made up in artistic style. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
Hugo Hill has a fine display of jewelry on exhibition in his store suitable for Christmas presents. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900).
Mrs. O’Brian has rented the Capital hotel on Main Street, which has been empty for several years. This will be newly furnished and opened about Christmas. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
There was a light fall of snow Monday night and Tuesday, but has entirely disappeared from the streets and Italian weather again prevails. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
The Dec. 21, 1900 issue also highlighted some of the origins of the Christmas tree and a Christmas tradition from England.
The Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree which enters very largely into our festival comes to us from Germany, where, on the eve of the anniversary, a tree is set up in nearly every household, bright with candles and paper decorations of various colors.
It is St. Nicholas day, and the children on this day make known their wants for the Christmas season. Then he is supposed to drive away to an unknown land and get his loads of goods, bringing them back for the Christmas stockings. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
Christmas Waits. In England, the waits are musicians who play throughout the towns and cities at night, for two or three weeks preceding Christmas. They call on the inhabitants for donations.
At one time it was the custom to let out this privilege to one man, who was privileged to hire as many waits as he chose and to take a goodly percentage of the profits, none others but his players being allowed to engage in this occupation. (The Fairplay Flume, Dec. 21, 1900.)
As the line in the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” says, “He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice, he’s gonna find out, who’s naughty or nice.” In Germany and the Austrian region, German paganism developed the Christmas tradition of Krampus.
According to Wikipedia, “Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.”