Ruth Stimson        
Christmas Book #1        
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Insights and Delights of Christmas, Part 1


In 1967, as a Rockingham Craftsman, Ruth published the first edition of her book, Our Heritage at Christmas. She created it to share Christmas ideas with community organizations. Ruth mimeographed 700 copies of the 131-page book that she bound in notebooks. Each book cost $5 and she sold out of them.

Vern Colby, in an article in Seacoast Scene, calls the book a compendium of "practically everything worth knowing about the development of Christmas, from ancient days to almost the present moment."

In it Ruth discusses the evolution of Christmas. There are sections on Christmas candles, cookies and cards, Christmas tree history, toys, religious patterns and practices. "You name the Christmas Spirit subject: we're confident you'll find mention in Our Heritage at Christmas," Colby states.

"For 10 years, I'd been collecting and organizing materials on decorations, handcrafted gifts, Xmas foods and customs," says Ruth. "I worked from such accumulations as five scrapbooks on decorations and bushels of Christmas clippings. Next step was to buy cartons of mimeograph paper and go to work."

During the interview, Ruth reminisced about Christmases past. During the 1930s, Ruth was a Girl Scout. She and a group of scouts used to go caroling on her father's apple cart truck, to shut-ins - with hot chocolate as the reward for their performance.

When asked for a Christmas thought Ruth says: "Through greeting cards and visits, the season gives a chance to renew friendships and faith, and opportunity to restudy goals for the New Year. It is a season to bring out the best in people."

Colby's article encouraged Ruth "to continue to revise and enlarge the 1967 edition. That seemed like another good winter activity as a retired person."

Ruth talks about how the 1987 edition came to be in Part 2.