Founding Fathers Blog

Benjamin Franklin for Christmas

December 6th, 2011

Christmas tree

It’s December. I got to thinking, there isn’t a whole lot written
about how our Founding Fathers actually spent their Christmas
Holidays. My imagination started working overtime wondering how
they would react to our own Christmas Celebrations.

What if some of our Founding Fathers skipped right from their own
family Christmas gathering and appeared at one of my own?  Let’s
just surmise and pretend, with our thinking cap in a prominent
position on our heads. Take Benjamin Franklin for example.

Benjamin Franklin would be a lot of fun as a guest. He loved
people, feasts, and celebrations. He would be at home with our
family gathering. He would genuinely love my 3 daughters, my
grandchildren, and would be especially fond of my wife’s homemade
Christmas Cheesecake. He’d like it so much he would ask for
seconds–maybe even thirds.

Ben would want to see how we kept it so fresh and cold. It was
baked yesterday, after all. I’d show him our Sub-Zero side by
side refrigerator/freezer and he’d be amazed. “Do you mean to
tell me that these appliances were invented to take advantage of
what I learned in that big thunderstorm when lightning was
attracted to the key on my kite’s string? And you keep lightning
right in the walls of your own home, and plug some wires from
this refrigerator directly into ‘outlets’ to access it?

Ben would be overjoyed to see all the Christmas lights (again due
to electricity), and he would love the sound of music coming from
the speakers of our sound system (Ben was a musician, you know.
He played the violin, guitar, and even his own invention, the
Armonica–a favorite of Beethoven). An armonica is a series of crystal glasses containing water, turned with a teasel, and played with a finger on the rims of the glasses.

While showing Ben our home, he would be interested in those
‘wagons’ kept in an indoor ‘garage’ for our convenience and
safety. He’d want to go for a ride in that ‘SUV.’  He’d be most
interested in how the car’s battery operated. Stored electricity.
And comfort. Travel was very difficult for Ben when he served as
Postmaster General and had to travel, even in inclement weather
in the Colonies. He resorted to telling outlandish stories about
horses and oysters, to crowded rooms at the Inn, especially on
one trip to Rhode Island, just so he could get himself a seat
comfortably near the fire!

But most of all, I think, Ben would be pleased to know that we
remember the real story of Christmas. Ben was a God-fearing man.
He had created a “Project for Moral Perfection” which he followed
all of his life. One of his goals in that project was to strive
for the humility which characterized Jesus Christ’s life. Ben
said if he did so, he would “probably be proud of my humility!”

Ben believed in Christ and in the Resurrection. In his own
personal epitaph he claimed his body would be raised “to appear
in a new and more elegant editions, Revised and corrected by the

Merry Christmas, Ben.


  1. nding Fathers, Uncommon Heros.’ I also believe that
    without the leadingof Benjamin Franklin and his faith in God, there would probaably never agreed to the
    constitution as finally agreed on.
    I urge everyone that have not read this book, should do so at their earliest opportunity.

    Comment by Charles Luthy — December 8, 2011 @ 3:57 am

  2. […] Earlier I proposed that we consider what it would be like to have a Founding Father as a Christmas guest. (See Christmas with Benjamin Franklin.) […]

    Pingback by Founding Fathers the Book » Christmas with Thomas Jefferson — December 10, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  3. Again, another great story by our families greatest story teller!

    Comment by Shirlyn Allen — December 22, 2011 @ 8:43 am

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