Merry Christmas! (Day 7)


Christmas in Baltimore, 1867
Christmas festivities had begun; every ten minutes or oftener a gun or a squib was fired off, giving one the idea that the war had not ended yet at Ellicott's Mills. Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew "egg-nog" for all comers; everybody calls upon everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging. Egg-nog is made in this wise: our egg-nog was made so, and was decided after a good deal of nogging around, to be the brew in Ellicott's Mills: "Beat up the yolks of twelve eggs with powdered sugar, then beat up with them a pint of brandy, a quart of cream, and a quart of milk; lastly beat up the whites of your twelve eggs, and add them as a head and crown to your syllabub." It is made cold, and is drunk cold, and is to be commended. We had brought a store of sugar-plums, as the children all expect presents at this time. They hang up their stockings on Christmas Eve, and in the morning find them filled with goodies. At New York this is done by Criskindle (Christ kinde) and at Baltimore by Santa Claus (San Nicolas).
Henry Latham, Black & White: A Journal of Three Months' Tour in the United States