What exactly can be described as Christmassy? According to the Penny Illustrated Paper, the idea, as it should truly be defined, is “the festivity which Sir John Gilbert represents in our extra Christmas Supplement with all the rich pictorial effect and historical exactitude for which he is famous” (A Christmas Pantomime before Charles II, issue 693-4, 19 Dec. 1874, p. 402). Christmas, an old religious tradition with Germanic additions such as Father Christmas or the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree, meant a lot for the Victorian Londoners.
In rich circles – especially in noble families – celebrations would be mostly domestic and – during and after Boxing-Day – charity would be the key activity, especially for ladies. The poor, however, celebrated with the little they had, and most likely received the charity from the above mentioned. Middle-classes, of course, found themselves in-between and most of the time, tried to emulate the rich. Children loved Christmas, especially for the presents and entertainment programs created especially for them. Parents and guardians enjoyed the fact that these little future adults could get education through pleasure.
There is no wonder that a Christmas without snow, is like a pantomime without the Transformation Scene. If there is “seasonable weather,” such as in 1869’s Boxing Day, and with just enough snow (not too much, but not too little) to feel that Christmas is around most people are content. On the other hand, going out is not exactly the brightest idea, in fact the weather could turn out sharp enough to make “a brisk walk most exhilarating” (issue 431, 1 Jan. 1870, p. 10), while bicycles and velocipedes seem to provide a better means of transportation.
- Apologies of the season (theage.com.au)
- Regift on Boxing Day is OK, what about Regifting for Christmas (momstart.com)
- The History Behind Boxing Day (downtheavenue.com)
- Crowds rush for Boxing Day bargains (bbc.co.uk)
- The Origins of Boxing Day (socyberty.com)
- Boxing Day After Christmas (socyberty.com)
- Boxing Day travellers could be disrupted by heavy snow (telegraph.co.uk)
- Harlequins give Burnett a chance with season’s loan (independent.co.uk)
- The Ashes Boxing Day Test and other must-see sport on TV (telegraph.co.uk)
- Harlequins’ chief executive Mark Evans to leave the club in February (guardian.co.uk)
- Everything back to its closing level from Friday (forexlive.com)
- Harlequins 17-10 Wasps | Premiership match report (guardian.co.uk)