Thank you to our event Volunteers, Alex and Donny, for submitting the following blog.
By Alex Huang & Donny Chiu (Events Volunteers)
When the clock strikes ten on a chilly Sunday morning, a foghorn blares triumphantly in the distance, ushering in another day for the Cannery Farmers’ Market. Christmas is coming, evident in festive decorations, jolly carols and an abundance of Santa hats within the crowd of enthusiastic visitors; even Santa stops by for a tour. The market is busy with a variety of local vendors selling hand-crafted belts, wood fired ceramic pottery, oven baked pastries, and more.
On December 4th, on top of a bustling Farmers’ Market, Christmas festivities in Steveston village, and Santa’s visit, the Cannery hosted another in a series of Life Hacks of the 1940s programming – “Christmas on the Homefront”. The drop-in workshop was a Christmas complement to the Cannery’s current feature exhibit Women on the Homefront. “Christmas on the Homefront” showed visitors how to make hand-made ornaments inspired by the wartime years, and also shared wartime Christmas recipes that were adapted to work with the rationing of the time.
Here are some interesting facts on what Christmas on the Homefront was like during WW2:
* Shortage of materials like aluminum and tin — traditionally used to produce ornaments — led many people to make their own ornaments at home out of non-priority war materials, paper, string, and natural objects, such as pinecones or nuts.
* Electric bubble lights were created during the 1940s and are still used today.
* Many people did not use real Christmas trees due to the wood being used for wartime production. Instead, household plants or artificial trees were decorated.
To find out more about the Christmas holidays during the war years, visit this website.