How Christmas has changed over the years
By George how times have changed…
Millbry Hill Jones here. Thought I’d put pen to paper once again, although writing these days rarely calls for pen or paper. It’s something I’m not quite sure I’ll ever get used to, but then I’ve seen many changes in my life, none more so than this time of year.
I know it seems hard to imagine but at the start of the 1900s Christmas was little more than another date on the calendar. Indeed I recall that for many it didn’t even warrant a day’s holiday.
Nowadays of course it’s a completely different affair with almost every window festooned with fairy lights and mountains of gifts bought, wrapped and exchanged with many people’s celebrations starting on Christmas Eve and lasting right through until the New Year.
It was our own Queen Victoria and her German-born husband Prince Albert who introduced lots of splendid aspects of Christmas to our glorious green and pleasant land. You might not know it, but it was the Victorians who transformed Christmas into the holiday we know and love so much these days complete with Christmas trees, decorations, carols, gift giving and of course the turkey. It was also the Victorians who made it a family celebration overflowing with peace and goodwill.
I remember Christmas 1871 being particularly special as I attended the World’s first cat show, held at Crystal Palace in London. Up until then these beautiful creatures had been used for little more than pest control but this marvellous event changed the way felines were viewed. They became the pet of choice for many well-to-do ladies and were pampered and mollycoddled. While at the event I enjoyed a very interesting conversation with Harrison Weir, the most wonderful cat enthusiast who went on to create the National Cat Club and penned the first pedigree cat book, Our Cats and All About Them. It was a passion he and I shared and I had a copy of his book on my dresser for many a year. I do so wish you could have met him, he really was the most splendid chap. Anyway I digress, which is what happens when I start to reminisce. I get lost in my memories and lose all track of time.
Let’s get back to Christmas 2016 and the festivities which are about to commence. We at Millbry Hill absolutely love this time of year which is why we make sure we deck the halls and stock up with great gifts for the whole family. The picture above was taken in the Old Boardroom in our Stokesley store, one of my most favourite places at the minute and well worth a visit if you’re in town. You’ll find lots of last minute gift ideas in our four stores at Stokesley, Whitby, Richmond and Whitehaven. I’ve got my eye on the House of Paws Xmas Santa Bow Tie and the Schoffel Mens Herringbone Tie which I may just treat myself to if they are not in my stocking on Christmas morning.