Saturday, 7 December 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Christmas TV and Movies

My memories of Christmas TV and movies when I was a child - I don't have them.  One of the strongest traditions in our family was that the TV stayed switched off on Christmas Day.  When my cousin got older, he was allowed to watch Christmas Top of the Pops (it was a teenage thing).

As I have grown older myself, have moved out, and spent (unfortunately too) many Christmases on my own, I have looked forward to Christmas TV as my main source of entertainment.  Older still, and family history is now my main form of entertainment - so the TV stays switched off again.

The only 'Christmas' movie which I will watch at any time of the year is "A Christmas Carol" - the version with Sir Patrick Stewart as Scrooge.  I admit, I first watched it because I am a Star Trek fan - and he played Captain Picard - but I continue to watch it because he is such a splendid actor.  And he's British!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Christmas Tree

This was my post from last year (2012):

I grew up with artificial trees, so it was natural when I left home and set up my own flat to have an artificial tree myself (and all of my flats have been far too small to cope with anything over a foot tall!). Over the years, artificial trees have improved considerably, so what used to be a rather obviously-plastic one now looks almost real. You often have to touch the needles to check!
"Happy Christmas" by Viggo Johansen

The Christmas tree has not always been with us. Or has it? Check this out from Wikipedia:

"While it is clear that the modern Christmas tree originates in Renaissance and early modern Germany, there are a number of speculative theories as to its ultimate origin. Its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Martin Luther. Alternatively, it is identified with the "tree of paradise" of medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the commemoration and name day of Adam and Eve in various countries. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden fruit) and wafers (to represent the Eucharist and redemption) was used as a setting for the play. Like the Christmas crib, the Paradise tree was later placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls."

And this from Encyclopædia Britannica: "The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime."

And from "Oliver Cromwell preached against "the heathen traditions" of Christmas carols, decorated trees and any joyful expression that desecrated "that sacred event."

I wonder how many of my ancestors had a Christmas tree?

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at


You may NOT use the contents of this site for commercial purposes without explicit written permission from the author and blog owner. Commercial purposes includes blogs with ads and income generating features, and/or blogs or sites using feed content as a replacement for original content. Full content usage is not permitted.

You Might Also Be Interested In

Total Pageviews