Christmas comes but once a year, the build up lasts forever

And so it begins

I think it was early November, Halloween was almost upon us and there it was. I heard it. The first Christmas song of the year. The person on the radio that requested the song thought it was great fun.

And now we enter December.

Any constraint being shown by retailers, radio stations and the media is officially gone. Its Christmas season. Now, don’t go painting me as a scrooge. I thoroughly enjoy Christmas. I love the opportunity to spend time with family and to eat and drink myself silly. What is annoying is the long, long build up and the feeling that every year a new ‘tradition’ is introduced and Christmas is becoming more commercial. But is it?

I had a look into the collection to see how Christmases were celebrated in the past. More restraint? Less fun? Or perhaps they were more sophisticated than our sparkly, jangly modern day Xmas?


What did I find in the collection? Tinsel, Christmas cards, crepe decorations, fairies and Christmas frost. It seems that as usual, we have looked back through rose tinted glasses at previous generations. It seems they loved a sparkly, colourful Christmas just as much as we did!

One way they did differ was the language in Christmas Cards. The words used harked back to an older age and perhaps this is one area we could look to return to. So this year, rather than just write ‘Merry Christmas’, you could be a little more traditional:

‘This same old wish

That’s ever new

This Christmastide

Is sent to you’


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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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