Black and White Christmas

We located some more photographs that show Perry County Christmas decorations.  As I look at these photos, I cannot help but think that the absence of the technology to produce color photographs really doesn’t do the Christmas season justice.  Normally, I love looking at the old black and white photos.  They add a sense of antiquity to the scenes they display.  However, the Christmas season, maybe more than any other season, is a season filled with color, and the black and white pictures just seem to fall so short in the effort to portray this festive season.


  • I am not an expert in the German language.  Maybe our friend, Lutz Backmann, in Saxony can tell us what the message says.
  • I am fascinated by the ladder structure on the right of the tree.  Could it be a depiction of Jacob’s Ladder?
  • The shades on the window might be evidence of a tradition I have heard about.  I have been told that many families would not let their children see their Christmas tree until they came home from the Christmas Eve service at church.  The parlor where the tree was located would have its door shut, and children would be strictly forbidden from entering that room.  Shades would even be put on the windows to keep curious children from peeking in through the windows from the outside to see the Christmas tree and the presents under it.


  • This tree certainly gives me the impression that someone went out in the woods to find it.  It does not have what we now would consider the typical triangular shape.  It also has much longer needles than what most of today’s trees have.
  • The toys under the tree are fascinating.  And as was pointed out in a previous blog, we find animal figurines inside a fence…..this time a split-rail fence.
  • There are plenty of angels in this tree, and we also see that some popcorn had been strung to help decorate this tree.
  • Forget the Christmas decorations for a moment.  The combination of patterns on the floor, wall, and ceiling are incredible.  Here is a case where I might be happy that I don’t see the color combinations that must have been visible in that room all year long.


  • Once again, under the tree, we see here another wonderful fenced-in display of a little village with sheep grazing on a hillside outside the town.
  • The Christmas tree stand is quite ornate.
  • Compared to the tree stand, the tree topper seems rather small and insignificant.  You should come in to our museum and see the many varieties of tree toppers we have in our Christmas display.

And then there is this photo which is said to be of Santa:


Now that is just plain spooky, especially in black and white.  I am at a loss for words.

Our museum would love to have more photos of how people in East Perry County decorated for Christmas in days past.  We would especially like to see any photos of how businesses in town may have decorated the exteriors of their stores.  If you have any of these photos, stop by the museum.  We can quickly have them scanned.  That way you can continue to keep those photos, and the museum can better carry out its mission of preserving our past.

I figure you need a little color in this post, so I am posting the video we have produced to promote our Christmas display at the museum.

This Thursday and Friday, our museum is part of the Christmas Country Church Tour.  You can find out more about this event by visiting their Facebook page, or you can contact the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce (573-547-6062) to get more details. On those days, we will be open until 9 p.m.

Our Christmas display will be up until January 15th.




3 thoughts on “Black and White Christmas

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    This post was published during the Christmas season back in 2016. I decided to share it again today. Merry Christmas from Perry County, Missouri!


    1. As children we had the tradition of not seeing the tree until after the children’s service on Christmas Eve. Dad would read the Christmas Gospel (even though we had all heard it an hour before, sometimes along with a short message may have preached in the service). Then we would sing a few Christmas carols. Then the door would be opened and all of us would enter with awe combined with excitement.


    2. A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Alberta, Canada. Lots of minus 40 windchills the past two weeks.


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