Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America.

At last, it is Christmas Day.  I have been waiting for a very long time. The parlour is polished and smells of pine trees instead of old smoke from the fireplace.  Mother has placed garlands of pine and holly on the window sills. The door has been shut for days to keep away the smell of smoke from the other rooms . But today, the fire place will be burning all day.  The day began bright and there was little wind, but just as Father predicted, it is snowing so hard I cannot see the barn.  We will have no visitors for Christmas.

Brent and Josh liked our tree on the table in the parlour.  They told me their Christmas tree was much larger and stood on the floor and not the table.  I wonder how tall a tree would need to be to reach the ceiling in our hall.  It is ever so high. There are small toys and cookies on our tree.  There are some books and scented soap, a scarf for Father, a box of handkerchiefs with lace and some candies underneath the tree. I  am eager to read my new book about animals.  Josh said he also loved books about animals. Brent liked the candies best.  No one sees Josh and Brent but me.  I was going to make them some socks for Christmas but Josh has very big feet and I did not think I could finish them in time.

Father will say a VERY long prayer before dinner and will read to us the story about Christmas from his Bible.  It is a very large book and he has written the names of all our family in it.  I like to hear the story.  I like to hear about babies.  The boys like to hear about the moving star.  Father remembers a poem from when he was a boy and
tells us:

Saint Nicholas, good holy man!
Put on the Tabard, best you can,
Go, clad therewith, to Amsterdam.
From Amsterdanm to Hipanje,
Where apples bright of Oranje,
And likewise those granate surnam’d.

by Mary Beekman

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Dear Mary, when I can't sleep worth a darn, as has been the case since I got older, I get up and see if you have written any more pieces. It surely does help me to feel happy. Happy New Year! XXX


Merry Christmas Phyllis,

Josh told me his mother also received pine scented oil marbles for the tub and her mother complained about the ring left behind. I

don't take many baths in the winter because the water freezes

right in front of the fireplace!

I must send you good wishes for the New Year.



Merry merry, Mary!!! You are a precious girl. We all love to hear from you. When I was a child, I would get a pair of roller skates every christmas, with a silver key I would put on a shoe string and hang around my neck! I would get a book, some green pine-scented bath oil marbles and stationery and a pen. I thought they were the grandest presents. I can't find any of the pine bath oil marbles now. We also had tangerines at Christmas. This year, my presents were very dull, but I appreciate them anyway! My daddy would bring home bottles of Cherry Kijafa and Sabra liquors.I would get a taste in a tiny glass. It would make me sleepy. The Sabra tastes of oranges and chocolate, like dessert! Bye bye!