A Georgian Christmas

Image courtesy of Prawney at Pixabay

After Cromwell, the festivities were on again at Christmas, but with Charles II it wasn’t the fun and frolics it would become under the Georges (1714-1820).

The Georgians according to popular authors of the day loved to dance the nights away, at balls or parties, or carousing with family.

The Georgian Christmas season began on St Nicholas’s Day, 6 December, and this became the day for exchanging gifts. The festivities ended on Twelfth Night (6 January).

Even the poor had the day off on Christmas Day, except for those looking after the rich of course, and people were expected to go to church, before returning home to a feast. Anything that could be prepared in advance would have been eaten cold.

The whole business would be a vegetarian’s nightmare with a turkey or goose or venison for the gentry as the essential choice.

Christmas pudding, or plum pudding, having been banned in 1664 by the puritans, who called it ‘a lewd custom’ and ‘unfit for God-fearing people’, was back.

People also returned to decorating their homes – and not just the gentry. Greenery was gathered by anyone with a bit of the Christmas spirit and the energy to do so, but it was thought to be unlucky to bring any of it into the house until Christmas Eve.

As time went on, folks became a little more amorous, incorporating kissing boughs and balls made from mistletoe, holly and ivy and decorated with spices, fruit, candles or ribbons.

No Christmas trees yet. The festivities were to centre around the biggest and best yule log, with the aim that it would burn for the whole festive period.

The Christmas tree was a German custom from the 1800s for the royal household but it was only following an engraving appearing in a newspaper in 1848 of Queen Victoria, her family and their tree that the masses began to pick up on the idea.

We will get to the Victorians next.

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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