Victorian Christmas Ball
Can you believe it? Our 7th annual Victorian Christmas Ball has
come and gone; has passed into history. But though the dancing ended at
midnight … and the fellowship of the evening perhaps some two hours later …
may it be that the joy we have been blessed to experience together will
remain in each heart, grow and bring forth much good fruit in the months and
years to come.
What a wonderful evening we had! The caroling seemed – angelic. So many
friends were present it was impossible to spend a great deal of time with
each. But sometimes the flash of a friendly smile and a quick but sincere
Christmas greeting as a turn was made while progressing down a dance set was
enough to warm the heart and speak volumes as to who we are and why we
And the We Make History Family does assemble from many places! Joyful
persons from at least six counties of Arizona were present as were guests
from out of state. Portions of the WMH Family arrived from many expected
locales such as Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and the various suburbs of the
north and east parts of the Valley. But we also rejoiced in welcoming a new
tribe to the WMH Family as several clans arrived from the West Valley
“representing” (as they say in those parts) Tolleson, Avondale, Goodyear,
Litchfield Park and Tonopah! Welcome Westside! And Merry Christmas!
And we even learned something from one of our new Westside friends as a
young lady from Litchfield Park regaled us with tales of domesticated
hedgehogs being kept in Victorian era basements. Ahhhh… a moment of
And may much more cheer be forthcoming!
Our annual Prescott Pizza Party, musical concerts, the 1st
Virginia Christmas Party and several birthday celebrations are all on the
calendar as are charity events and visits to church productions and “living
nativity” programs which feature members of the WMH Family. And of course,
there is preparation for
Her Majesty’s Ball in January!
The message? The Christmas season comes once per year. Enjoy, fellowship,
give, bless and offer thanks from a grateful heart overflowing with the joys
of the season.
“And there were in the same
country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by
night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the
Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said
unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of
David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto
you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from
them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto
Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath
made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph,
and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known
abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they
that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the
shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things
that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”
Rejoice! Our Saviour is born!
Your humble servant
Wishing you and yours
very, very Merry Christmas…
Dear Lord and Lady
What a marvelous time we had at the Victorian Ball! By the time we were
ready to rest our head for the night we could not stop talking about the
beautiful people we had met that evening. The beauty inside was equally as
magnificent as the outward beauty. My wife cannot get the swirling dresses
out of her mind or ever understand how Balls could have ever gone out of
fashion. For me, this was the most fun I have had in a very long time. By
night's end, my face hurt from smiling and laughing so much.
This festive event indeed will become a tradition for our family.
Thank you Lord and Lady Scott and the We Make History family for life long
memories! We greatly look forward to attending yet another Ball.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bill, Tonya, and Brionna P.
I thank you once again for hosting a delightful evening of dance
and merriment in celebration of our Lord's birth. It was the
distinct pleasure of my friends and I to join so jolly a group in lively
song and dance. One can hardly conceive of a more worthy occasion for
traveling across the countryside in our finest formal dress than to join at
our destination with the dukes and duchesses, generals and gentlemen, and
lords and ladies of her majesty's era (not to mention those young lads of
the First Virginia). I applaud the effort with which you once again brought
together so fine a group of dancers and I am pleased to announce that from
our own clan of dance enthusiasts from the region of the "west side" we had
two new friends brave the dance floor for the first time, and they came away
with fond memories and with eager anticipation to return.
We of the west side salute you sir!
Mr. Jonathan "The Russian" Sloma
Lord And Lady Scott,
Now THIS is what the season is all about -- love, peace, friendship, joy,
and uplifting others. I wish I could've danced with every beautiful lady in
the room! I think I came close. While I thoroughly enjoy every We Make
History ball, I noticed this time I felt a warmth inside of me I hadn't felt
in a long time. Or perhaps I just let my happiness overcome me... leaving
people to wonder why I dance an allemande left and right with my free hand
And the caroling -- another Miracle Moment.
To you and the entire WMH family -- thank you so much for bringing such
happiness into my life and the lives of all those around you.
May God Bless Each And Every One Of You!
Your Friend And Humble Servant,
Pvt. Christopher F.
1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry
Greetings Lord Scott:
again the Christmas Season fills the air, as we celebrate with song and
dance. I cannot thank you enough for all of the hard work you and your
family put into these balls. I really enjoyed the sounds of carolers
echoing in the room as we reflect upon the miracle that took place so long
ago. Thank you once again and I look forward to seeing you and your family
them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and
First off: I had the most amazing time at your Victorian Christmas Ball! I
definitely look forward to attending next year.
Second off: The hedgehog fact was true : ) and next year I'll be back
with an even better fact, and Christmas memory. Ha Ha! : ) : ) : )
Third off: I would like to name off all of the most memorable events that
happened that night The dances were really fun! I felt as if I were
practically in the Victorian era..... I absolutely loved the caroling. The
young lady that you called up to sing one of the carols had an amazing
voice! All together I had an amazing time! May the holidays bring you and
your family joy!
Your Westside friend,
Kailey B. of Litchfield Park
I just wanted to let you know that, as usual, we enjoyed ourselves at the
The amusing moment stuck in my head, I couldn't resist looking it up after
Much to my surprise, I found a teaser on the internet in the Milford
Historian newsletter and after a good bit of poking around, I found a few
more academic sources mentioning the idea, which I traced back to a book
published in 1883.
It being an antique book, I wasn't able to obtain a copy, but a number of
others cited it, so I imagine it's quite probable to expect it is in fact as
Shirley Foster Murphy, vice-president of the (then) Royal Sanitary Institute
(in London), in the book she edited; "Our Homes, and How to Make Them
Healthy", apparently recommend that one keep a Hedgehog in the Kitchen, in
order to keep down the amount of bugs, insects, and food scraps laying
... and in England, the Kitchen was often located in the basement. :-)
Well, there we have it! Hedgehogs in the Basement!!
Take care and God bless!
to thank you again for another wonderful
Ball. My wife and I, and our children in attendance had a wonderful time as
we kindled new friendships, renewed old ones, and regaled in the sites and
sounds of Christmas.
What a beautiful cast that was in attendance last night as we celebrated the
season of the birth of our Lord; the dancing was divine, the fellowship
heavenly, and the singing
I must say that if the
1st Virginia is any indication of the rest of the troops in the south we may
be in trouble. They must have been well trained by their Sgt. to show such
poise when called upon to perform in the face of adversity.
May you and
your family have a very Merry
and a Happy New Year.
George Armstrong Custer
Joyful And Triumphant
What is this feeling? The spirit of Christmas, the way it should be,
as celebrated by the family of
We Make History.
the journal of Pvt. Francis of the
Virginia Volunteer Infantry
"Are you seeking a partner for a dance?" inquires the Confederate soldier of
a young lady in front of him.
"No," she says.
He is puzzled. She certainly looks like she is seeking somebody amid the
crowded ballroom floor, swirling with the festive colors of Christmas-themed
gowns and tailcoats and fellow recruits in their dress uniforms. Perhaps he
has heard it wrong in the din of the bustle and laughter of couples forming
lines. And if she is not seeking a partner, why is she still standing there
"You were not seeking a partner?" the soldier clarifies.
"Oh, no, I wasn't attached to one," she adds in a hurry.
Relieved, the soldier escorts her to a forming set, apologizing for any
misunderstanding, which she accepts with a smile.
At this festive Victorian celebration, the ballroom is a living scrapbook to
him, the many faces of friends eliciting memory after memory of moments on
the battlefield or the dance floor -- men he fought with, ladies he danced
with. A warmth possesses him, stronger than he has felt in many months, and
it affixes a smile upon his face even through the most breathtaking dances.
He wishes to cavort with every lady in the room, even though he knows it is
impossible. But he can try.
The venue is almost too small at times to contain the lines of dancers,
either circling around or lining up in sets. Couples pass back and forth
among themselves, guided by call, swinging each other and sashaying down the
lines to ubiquitous clapping and stomping. The spirited recruit skips about
his dancing companion, and one could draw a straight line between their eyes
and hearts. He bows often to her as a flourishing touch, catching a smile
every now and then until the music ceases and he praises her.
"Thank you so much for a wonderful dance!" he compliments with a bow more
apropos to the 18th Century than 19th. "You did that
beautifully." He turns to the other couples in the set with bows. "All of
In an exhaustive state of bliss, ladies fan themselves, and still they are
ready for a waltz.
A lady in a red gown and bonnet approaches the merrily winded Confederate.
To his surprise and delight, she asks him for a waltz, which he accepts with
another courtly bow.
Some couples tread lightly. Others twirl in ballroom ecstasy, leading each
other as forerunners of Fred and Ginger in another place and time.
"I'll keep it simple," the gentleman soldier says, admitting his pedestrian
waltzing ability. It gnaws in him, this inability to sweep a lady off her
feet, as they say. But the kind and gentle lady minds not a bit in the
moment of simple grace, and she asks him for another dance before the
evening is through.
"You have my word, ma'am," the recruit says, his Virginia drawl a soothing
cloak of reassurance. "I keep my word."
He does, on the very next set dance, not wanting to be distracted with all
the beauty surrounding him.
* * *
ladies and gentlemen of the 1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry stand
about, relaxing and socializing between dances and eagerly anticipating the
The young ladies voice their anticipation. "Christmas is my favorite time of
"Caroling, beautiful decorations, so much joy. There's no other season quite
"And Christmas is finally here!"
The talk turns to a Ladies' Chorale fundraiser to procure medical supplies
for the troops. But what do the Virginia gentlemen have to offer?
"What would there be to prevent you and these other fine gentlemen from
giving it a go?" a lady asks.
The enthusiastic private cautions her: "No doubt your intentions are the
best, but I'm afraid after hearing some of us gentlemen sing that it might
be the audience would require the medical supplies!"
Encouraged on, the recruits agree, if the ladies can endure it.
"God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day,
To save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray,
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy..."
The Virginia ladies reward them with applause, but now the challenge is
offered. "Let us see if you might be able to top that."
It takes only one of them top that -- a young Miss Fox.
"Once in royal Davids city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child..."
Her solo voice is a candle in the night, a glowing light of beauty in the
darkness, enhanced by the cavernous heights of the ballroom to an ethereal
The 1st Virginia gentlemen add to the harmony, and later, the
entire gathering joins in for a round of hymns. Merely calling them
Christmas Carols would understate the peace flowing through each word lifted
up and echoing forth from every corner of the room, deep into the hearts of
"O Come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of angels;
O Come, let us adore Him,
O Come, let us adore Him,
O Come, let us adore Him,
Christ The Lord!"
"Isn't this a little of what Heaven will be like," the host notes of the
singing and worshiping together.
And once again, it happens. The gentlemen recruit finds his eyes misty with
tears of Thanksgiving, overcome with joy but puzzled at why it always
manifests itself in this way... wishing he could halt time in its march.
* * *
"Gentlemen, about face!"
The recruits and civilians turn away from the ladies as they remove one shoe
each and toss the footwear in the center of the room. Before the imminent
charge, their commander warns them of the dangerous task before them. And if
anyone is slow...
"Shoot him!" a soldier cries from the rear rank.
Gentlemen pounce on the shoes like mongrels over scraps, save for the
Confederate recruit, who has devised his own strategy. As fingers fly over
laces and heels, he gracefully steps into the pile, plucks a neglected
Capezio, and steps out again, holding the prize high above him to locate its
owner, his partner for the next dance. She slips it on before he can offer
to fit it himself.
Less is more, the gentleman soldier concludes as he and his beautiful
dancing partner begin another set dance, one with only four other couples.
They have space to move and flow their steps together.
A few dances later, he lets the rhythm of a waltz flow through him with a
woman in a blue colonial gown. When he saw her, his mind flashed back to
another waltz he shared with her
at the beginning of the year
-- his remedy to seeing the heartbreaking sight of her dancing by herself.
Now he delights in a circle mixer, stately balancing his partner back and
forth and changing places with her, doing the same with his neighbor, and
then repeating it all the way around before forming left- and right-handed
stars: one hand joined to the others, the other hand raised in the air as he
steps to the majesty of three quarter time. The others follow his example
and raise their free hands as well.
"That's it!" the gentleman soldier encourages. "Be joyous!"
A young lad offers him a question: "In the stars, why do you raise your
"My heart is all in the dance," he explains, adding that it is a little bit
of 18th Century flourish he is pulling forward into the 19th
Stateliness and flourish dissolve as the recruit finds himself in a
predicament -- bumbling in the middle of a beloved Virginia Reel.
His set, lined with the finest ladies and gentlemen of the 1st
Virginia, gets behind the call, and now their moves are out of line with the
caller. His setmates call one move. The host calls another.
What on earth am I supposed to do? the soldier frets.
What is going on
here? This is our commander calling us here! Is this the Virginia Reel or
But rebels will be rebels on this dance, and so the set continues on its own
course, separate from the caller but eventually catching up. The recruit
hopes he and his partner will be top couple once again to atone for his
mistakes, but instead, everything progresses into vigorous swinging and
turning at the command of the caller.
A few couples hurry back into set position, desiring more, looking longingly
at the host, hoping for a few more iterations. The dance has lasted barely
ten minutes, hardly breaking a sweat for the hardy 1st Virginia!
Unfortunately for them and the fretful private, this is all the reeling for
the night. Atonement will have to wait.
* * *
"You have not danced with me yet all night," a young lady informs the
Virginia private on the next to the last dance of the festivities.
Good grief, the recruit wonders, has she been longing for me to
dance with her all night -- or longer?
He bows to her in acceptance. "Well, let me rectify this situation right
now!" His dance with her is short lived, however, as another circle mixer
follows with frequent partner changes.
Time allows for one more slow waltz with another young lady, one who admits
she does not know how to waltz very well.
"Not to worry," the recruit reassures her, "I am not a great waltzer."
She opens up to him, telling him of a time at a wedding when she felt
disappointed in her dancing ability. The recruits heart sinks as she relates
a story to him of pressure to dance well. He keeps his steps simple,
remembering what he has told another waltzing companion earlier in the
"We are all full of grace."
More pictures, more joy, more words of warmth and appreciation may be
COMING IN JANUARY:
The Realm Of The Merry
Please also see our “Etiquette
& Expectations” page as well as our "All
About Us" page.