Our December 2018 meeting was a great success. Some of us really got into the spirit with Christmas jumpers and headgear.
And of course the usual Christmas food, too!
We were then treated to the most wonderful talk on Christmas traditions by the lovely Siobhan Clarke. She covered Christmas traditions from the 12th century with slides and lots of information on how the royal families have celebrated through the ages.
We learned that in 1681 it was against the law to say "Merry Christmas", thanks to the Puritans! And although Prince Albert was responsible for introducing the Christmas tree in the royal household of Queen Victoria, owing to his German roots, Queen Charlotte actually had one as early as 1792. The trees were often hung from the ceiling.
Until the 1920s presents were exchanged only as small tokens (my how THAT has changed!) and often simply fruit. Ms. Clarke explained that German tradition is to open presents on Christmas Eve, a practice still followed by the royal family. She also said the Christmas card was started in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, followed by the invention of the Christmas cracker in 1847 by Thomas Smith, a London sweets maker. The talk was lively and very interesting!
We had such a good time and are now looking forward to our next meeting (always the second Wednesday of each month at All Saints Church Hall at 2pm) and our annual New Year's lunch. This year the lunch will be held on 23rd January at the Marine Hotel. (Reminder: pre-paid only)