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

The snow is falling outside and it is very windy. The wind swishes down the hallways and whispers under the doors. Josh and Brent came into the house to watch mother and the older girls knit stockings.  I was still doing my lessons.  I could smell the cold and wind on their clothes.  No one else seemed to notice.  We have had the fires in the fireplaces going for many days now and if the wind is swirling, smoke blows back inside.  But Josh and Brent brought the clean scent of the outdoors inside.  They are such good friends.

Brent liked the long stocking Mother was working on.  He spoke of hanging it up on the mantle to be filled with gifts on Christmas Eve.  I would rather wear it and keep warm!  I never knew of hanging up a STOCKING. But Josh told me he always hung up a stocking.  Brent told me about decorations for the Christmas tree made from wax. The bees left wax behind in their honeycombs and gingerbread bakers would fill the moulds for gingerbread with the melted wax. Before the wax grew hard, a ribbon would be attached and it could be painted and hung on the tree.  I hope Father has one in his store and will bring it home for us to put on our tree.  Our tree sits on top of a table.  I think it is much smaller than the ones Josh and Brent had.

It seems as though Christmas is very far away.  Josh told us about a calendar his mother provided for their family.  It had all the days of December and each day had a tiny door that opened and revealed a piece of scripture until Christmas.  I wish I had something to count the days away until Christmas and all the good things that come with it. Visiting family, special treats from the kitchen and a surprise for each one of us under our tree.  I like the story about the baby born under a star.  It is a happy time of year even though the light of the day is not long and  the cold inside and out makes us wish for spring.  Brent asked me “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”*  He said he would draw squares for each day in December until December 25 and we could cross off each day.  I would like that.  I do not remember how many days are left but I know it is drawing near.

*Percy Bysshe Shelley

by Mary Beekman

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Phyllis, thank you for the itty bitty poem. I know it by

heart already and will say it at dinner time for everyone.

Maybe you will know one for December.


Phyllis, I loved your little bitty poem. I already have learned it and

shall say it at dinner time. Thank you. Perhaps you shall have one

for December too.


Dear Mary, This is the only month I can tell you this little bitty poem:

No bird

No bee

No leaf on tree

No wonder!


Love from your friend Phyllis