christmas – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Discovering Ancient Christmas Customs on The Archive

Our familiar Christmas customs – decorating our houses with holly and ivy, enjoying chocolate yule logs and giving presents – have, for the most part, their origins in ancient pagan practices. In this special blog, using articles taken from the rich pages of the British Newspaper Archive, we take a look at how our Christmas traditions have evolved through time, with Druid, Roman and Norse influences. Want to learn more? Register now and explore The Archive From Saturnalia to The

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 103,488 new pages to The Archive, and we are delighted to welcome two brand new titles to our collection. Our brand new titles this week have a Celtic theme: with the first being the Leven Advertiser and Wemyss Gazette, a weekly title published in Leven, Fife, and the second being the South Wales Gazette. This latter title is another weekly publication, published out of Abertillery, and became known as the South Wales Gazette and Newport News from 1892. South Wales Gazette | 7 February

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The History of the Christmas Tree

Imbued with Christian symbolism and yet born out of pagan tradition, the Christmas tree is an integral part of Christmas celebrations across the world. With between six and eight million real Christmas trees now sold in the United Kingdom alone, it is hard to think of a time when it was a new and exotic Continental import. In this special blog, using articles from the British Newspaper Archive, we will take a look at the history of the Christmas tree,

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Children’s literature

Much can be learned on the topic of literature from historic newspapers: book reviews, author biographies, histories of adaptations, and more. For this blog post, we will look at what the newspapers have to offer on the topic of children’s literature. Explore the below articles to discover what books were being read by and recommended for children. Click on an image to enlarge then use the arrows to move image by image throughout the collection. In the image viewer, you

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Winter holiday fashion

Unsure of what to wear for rockin’ around the Christmas tree? Or worried about finding that perfect gift of stylish fashion for a loved one? Concerned about keeping warm while on the slopes or simply embarking on some Christmas shopping? Fret not! Our newspapers are overflowing with advice and ideas for all your fashion concerns this holiday season. Dressing for the occasion Everyone is busily engaged making preparations for Christmas, and albeit it is essentially the children’s season, there are

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Winter gardens and holiday flowers

Winter and your garden Winters can present challenges to those of us blessed with a green thumb. But, perhaps, the challenges have, at times, been over-exaggerated. The Illustrated London News commented on an illustration of ‘frozen-out gardeners’ chanting out a street melody of ‘we’ve got no work to do-oo-oo’: There are few but what have heard this miserable chorus, bawled out by half a dozen wretched-looking fellows, bearing bunches of frozen greens on the tops of long poles, as they

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Trimming the Christmas tree

                            O, Christmas tree! Today we ask, ‘how have trees been decorated in the past?’ Photographs and illustrations offer great insight into this, as well as articles on specific decorations and accounts of Christmas celebrations. No Christmas tree? No problem! Subscribe today and discover history as it happened

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Holiday home

Can there ever be too many Christmas decorations? A home offers ample opportunity for dressing it up for the holidays, and we’ve found both traditional and unconventional Christmas decorations highlighted in The British Newspaper Archive. Which would you use in your own home? Traditional decorations Unconventional decorations Jazz up your Christmas decorations with some unconventional touches. The Tatler highlighted a Christmas mobile in their 8 November 1957 issue: ‘Snow crystals airily floating in space or gaily coloured glass Christmas tree balls

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Christmas gift-giving guides

Christmas shopping

We are now counting down the days until Christmas, and there are only a few days of shopping left.  Many of us are looking for inspiration for that perfect gift.  The newspapers found in The British Newspaper Archive can provide a number of gift-giving guides. We can see an increase in Christmas advertising and gift guides from the late 18th century as mass consumerism became a trend of Christmas. Before the days of social media, Pinterest, and Amazon wish lists,

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Cookery Corner – Christmas Dinner

Register today! It is that time of the year.  The trees have been decorated, the lights strung up around the windows, nativity scenes assembled, and stockings hung (by the chimney with care).  It also means that it is time to start planning your Christmas dinner.  For many of us, that means making travel arrangements, but for the hosts of these pivotal dinners, it means creating an efficient plan, ordering the turkey, picking the best vegetables, and food preparation.  To help you

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