Appalachia Christmas Holidays in Appalachia

Making Noise at Christmas

making noise at christmas
When I was in grade school, I remember my Daddy and cousin’s annual tradition. A few days before Christmas they would drive down to Newport to buy fireworks. This was always done after dark, and rarely discussed. No one in the family asked where the firecrackers, Roman candles, and sparklers came from, they were just happy to have the entertainment on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Daddy always put some of them back, so we could celebrate New Years too!

~Sherry Case


Sherry left the comment above a good while back on a post where I had shared the following excerpt from Dorie Woman of the Mountains written by Florence Cope Bush.

“In a strange contradiction, while shunning all symbolic trappings of Christmas Day, they saw nothing wrong with noisemaking. The men and boys provided the noise for the celebration. They’d go into the woods and shoot their guns at nothing at all. All day long shots echoed from one mountain to another. “

It is still common to hear gunshots on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in my area of Appalachia. Some of the shots come from guns that have arrived as Christmas presents, but others are sounded as a joyful expression of the holiday.

Larry Griffith reinforces Sherry’s memories with this comment he left.

“When I was a boy in the 50’s, the only time fireworks were sold was around Christmas time.”

Are you familiar with making noise during Christmas time?


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  • Reply
    December 24, 2017 at 9:13 am

    When I got married and moved far away to the big city, I was shocked to hear firecrackers on the 4th of July. We never had fireworks for that holiday, but everyone for miles around started making noise at midnight on Christmas Eve when I was growing up.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I forgot to tell you, in case you don’t already, you need to check out DemolitionRanch on youtube. It’s my second favorite site to go to right after the Blind Pig. If you don’t like it, I’ll bet Matt would. The guy that makes it is Matt too. He also does OffTheRanch were he does things with his wife and kids.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I hear all kinds of gunfire around here all the time not just at Christmas. People might think it would make me nervous but it don’t. It’s the opposite, it’s a comforting sound. Strangers in the neighborhood are less likely to try to cause us harm if they know we are well armed and well trained.
    I think someone around here has something bigger than a rifle or shotgun. It has a report like a cannon. I hear it every once in a while. I heard it twice today.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Didn’t make a lot of gun noise back in the day or fireworks on Christmas, tried to conserve on bullets or shot gun shells, can’t remember doing a lot of target practice for that matter, if a shot was fired had to be at something to eat, now a BB gun was a different story, I can remember my first BB gun and man was I proud. Merry Christmas Every Body.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I had to go to Recent Posts and open the first thing today. This usually doesn’t happen and I don’t know how to put it on today’s e-mails. So, I just go to yesterday’s Post and look under Recent Posts, so I can comment. After more than 7 days, the Frontier Bossman left his card at my door. I called and an East Tenn. man fixed my problem. He had 40 years experience with computers and fixed my problem in just minutes.
    That scope the Deer Hunter has looks like one of my scopes. Me and John (one of my brothers) use to play Football in the snow after dark and at Christmastime. With just the porch-light on, that was a lot of fun. …Ken

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    December 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

    No noise here, just peace and quiet on Christmas. But New Year’s! Yes. lots of noise then.
    The pine cones story reminded me of one of my favorite stories for this time of year, Silver Pine Cones. It’s from Germany. A poor woman goes to the forest to collect pine cones to heat her house and to sell, and a wood elf challenges her for taking his cones. When he realizes her situation, he directs her to a place where there are many cones. And when she gets home, she finds that all the cones she gathered had turned to silver. A story about helping others in need.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 23, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I didn’t grow up with noise making at Christmas but I’ve noticed since I moved to Murphy that there is lots of gunfire on Christmas as well as New Year. I think it’s what people had in the past. there was probably limited or no firecrackers but everyone had a gun!

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