It’s nearly Christmas and thoughts are turning to family, feasting and festive festoons. It’s certainly a fact that the decorations we use to brighten up our homes during Xmas are an essential part of our celebrations.
But just as our beloved Christmas Day Turkey came to us from America as well as most of the Xmas movies we’ll watch on TV, you’d be surprised just how many of the traditions we hold dear are actually borrowed from other countries.
So, flying the independence flag high, we thought we’d take you on a journey into Christmas future…Brexit-style.
We’re only making (Xmas) plans for Nigel
Everyone loves the pine-fresh aroma of a Christmas tree. Not just a festive focal point, but a heart-warming haven for baubles, tinsel and chocolate treats, plus guardian of those precious gifts.
The tree could create a prickly dilemma for the Euro-sceptics amongst us however. This institution is a German that started in 16th century Germany. It was later championed by Prince Albert during Queen Victoria’s reign and has become a firm British favourite.
Baubles will be next to bite the dust for fervent leavers, but with no tree to adorn that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They also come from Germany and were originally fashioned from glass by the enterprising Hans Greiner who also introduced tin figures to the list of Xmas decorations. As was tinsel, reportedly invented in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1610 and made of real shredded silver!
Okay, we’ve chopped down to tree in the spirit of festive freedom from European interference, but what about the rest of the house?
How about everyone’s favourite, the advent calendar? Bad news here too, as post-Brexit their days will indeed be numbered. Another German, Herhard Lang, is credited with producing the first printed advent calendars in the early 1900s following a German Protestant tradition of putting chalk marks on doors to count the days left to Christmas.
It’s bad luck for Santa, too, In reality (stop reading now, children) he was St Nicholas; a bishop from the fourth century who lived in Myra, now fittingly part of Turkey. He’s more commonly personified as Santa Claus, avuncular red-robed and rosy-cheek bringer of gifts on Dec 25. Who lives in the North Pole, more particularly Lapland, part of Norway. Not an EU member, so no need to worry about paying import duty on his sleigh-loads of Christmas gifts or ensuring his reindeer meet European emissions criteria.
So it looks like those wishing to decorate their homes in keeping with the ‘see you’ sentiment of 2017 need to look back into our own country’s history for Christmas decoration ideas.
What passes muster when we’re cut adrift?
We did apparently have a Father Christmas-like character who personified the season pre-Santa Claus. He was a jolly chap, more interested in the feasting and making-merry side of Xmas than the giving of gifts. Known as ‘Sir Christmas’ or the ‘King of Christmas’, this party animal reportedly enjoyed food, drink and laughter. Think the Ghost of Christmas Present in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. However, if you are going to recreate him as part of your animated rooftop decoration display, remember he wore green robes, not red ones.
On a final note, how about the Christmas Crackers? Good news. They were invented by the enterprising Tom Smith as a fancy way to sell his Xmas confections. When demand for sweets fell, he began to include love message on small slips of paper and hey presto, the Christmas cracker!
Absolutely fine to include on the post-Brexit table. Even if the Brussels most definitely aren’t.