• David Saunders

Christmas Day 1620


December 25th 1620. Christmas Day. Plimoth Harbour

In the year 1620 we didn’t celebrate Christmas Day. It didn’t fall on the Sabbath so we all worked. The children worked hard as well … the boys, were with their Fathers, in the fields trying to plant food for springtime.

The boys toiled all Christmas Day chopping down trees and making them into logs…. It was terribly hard work …. But we were in need of more shelters for our group. We had arrived in the New Land in the winter and most of us were still sleeping at night aboard the Mayflower.

In the kitchen, in the one common building we had managed to create, the girls worked terribly hard with their Mothers trying to make a half decent dinner from scraps they foraged in the woods along with some of the meagre supplies they could get from the Mayflower.

The sailors were celebrating Christmas and making quite merry. They drunkenly laughed at our toil.

Many of the men in our group were previously printers, tailors and hat makers… They had not a clue how to fish, nor did they carry equipment to fish... no ploughs to till the soil….so we starved… What use were drums and trumpets we had foolishly brought ….in the Winter of 1620?

Many of us were weak and tired …. The lack of sleep, the rationed food, the freezing cold and scurvy plagued us. We were tired… hungry …. freezing…..dying.

We were courageous dreamers… Christmas Day meant nothing to us…. At the end of the winter of 1620 half our number had died ….and half of the remaining 52 pilgrims were children.

This was Christmas Day in 1620 in the New World.

#mayflower400 #plymouth #barbican

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