The text and paintings on The Trowbridge Chronicles are taken from the illustrated journal of Violet Trowbridge, a shrew that once lived in a village deep in the Olympic Rain Forest. Each new post will represent a portion of Mrs. Trowbridge’s journal.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


What better way to introduce Episode 100 of the Trowbridge Chronicles than to offer one of my favorite of Mrs. Trowbridge's holiday paintings. The Trowbridge shrews of long ago didn't celebrate Christmas as we do, but they celebrated an annual winter festival that was similar in many respects to our Christmas celebration. Mrs. T painted her neighbor's cottage (above) decorated for the festive occasion during a winter snow.

The early shrews picked a variety of berries during the summer, then stored them away in their food cellar for winter provisions. The red huckleberries and white snow berries were also used for holiday decorating, as you can see in Mrs. T's painting. They would then hang the berries on tiny twig trees planted in front of their cottages. They ignited alder twig torches fueled by fir pitch, and decorated wooden barrels filled with mountain heather and berries. Their decorations were much simpler than ours.

Mrs. Trowbridge would most certainly have come undone if she could see the way we celebrate Christmas, with all the hustle-bustle and commercialism. I hope you are able to take time this season to remember the real reason for honor the Savior who came to us as a babe in a manger to bring Light into a dark world. Merry Christmas to all!