Friday, December 15, 2017

Regency, WW2 and 2017 - How Christmas has changed.

 In the Regency the lesser folk would have been fortunate to have anything different to eat at Christmas. However, those with money and status might well have celebrated in style.
If one was lucky one would be invited to a house party arriving before 21st December. A Yule log would be brought in but the greenery would not be put up until 24th. Christmas Day one would attend church and eat a turkey dinner. Similar to today -although I doubt many attend a service nowadays. Gifts were not given until 6th January -but not in the excess we see today.

The first Christmas of WW2  - 1939 - was the same as any other. Paper decorations, tinsel and candles on a tree, and a stocking for the children. However, there would be one present under the tree - not dozens. As the war progressed and rationing and shortages kicked in, the population did their best, but children would be lucky to get more than a few homemade gifts.
A chicken would be a luxury for many, especially those living in the cities. Country folk fared better as they could grow their own vegetables, keep chickens, and often had a shared interest in a pig.

How different it is today. The shops are full of festive things from September and families borrow money they can't afford to make sure their children don't feel disappointed on Christmas Day.
We all spend far too much, buy too much, and over indulge. I love the decorations, look out for doors with wreaths and lights outside, and enjoy peering into front windows at brightly decorated Christmas trees.
I am not religious, but love the nativity story.
For me it's a time for being generous in kind and in spirit, for reaching out to old friends and being close to family.

I wrote a light-hearted Christmas novella, Christmas at Devil's Gate in two weeks in order to give something to my readers. It's priced at $0.99 & £0.99 and is available on Amazon.

I wish you all a happy holiday, merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Fenella J Miller


Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I enjoyed this, Fenella. In the homes of those fortunate enough to live in style, the butler, whose job it was to see to the Christmas decorations in the house, often put holly along the tops of the gold picture frames - and if he was feeling particularly artistic, he might arrange tasteful blobs of cotton wool to look like snow!(Apart from the Nursery wing, where the nanny or nursery maid did it.)

Erin Kane Spock said...

When I taught history I loved to do lessons on the evolution of Christmas celebrations as we know them. As for overspending, I'm afraid to add up what I've spent so far on my 2 daughters.
I look forward to reading your novella.

Erin Kane Spock said...

You need to make the image and/or title a link.

Fenella J Miller said...

Erin, I meant to put the link but was unwell and forgot. Easy to find on Amazon.
I've just spent more an a pedigree cat than I've ever spent on anything in my life - Christmas madness.