Friday, December 12, 2008
Researching Christmas during the Regency was so much fun for me that I eventually wrote a whole book about it. (Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a
Remarkably Regency Yuletide!) I couldn't help it. The downside of having done this research, however, is that I cringe whenever I see a regency romance set during the holidays on the shelves of a bookstore. Most of them show big Christmas trees on the cover--wrong. Regency homes didn't always have a tree at all and if they did, it was a table-top one, not the big tall type the Victorians popularized.
The regency didn't have the commercialism, the huge number of presents, or Christmas cards, or outdoor caroling parties. ("Carolers" were usually "the waits," a special
town band, who got remuneration for their efforts.) Christmas was more centered around the church calendar, and decoration was mostly live greenery with berries, including mistletoe. So many differences! Was anything the same? Yes. Joy at the birth of the Saviour. I wish you a Merry Christmas. May it be happy, healthy, warm and wonderful. And for a special treat, enjoy a historical romance!