A History of Christmas Celebration
“The Holly and the Ivy”! Mankind has held mid-winter celebrations since the dawn of time, centuries before Christianity came to our shores. From Neolithic feasts to the Romans of Londinium and their festival of Saturnalia, people celebrated the mid-winter solstice. Medieval and Tudor times saw people celebrate Jesus’s birth by giving gifts and organizing elaborate entertainments.
A brief pause when Christmas was ‘cancelled’ during Oliver Cromwell’s rule saw the resumption of festivities but it was the Victorians who took Christmas celebrations to another level with a family focus including decorated Christmas trees, printed Christmas cards and turkey followed by Christmas pudding.
Meanwhile, the persona of St Nicholas became widely known as Santa Claus who brings kindness into our homes in the form of gifts to children. Dicken’s story ‘A Christmas Carol’ uses the written word to emphasize Christian values whilst expressing praise and joy musically came courtesy of carol singing! “Ding Dong Merrily on High”!