The following are excerpts from the December portion of an article entitled, “Annas Mirabilis, Or, a Parthian Glance at 1822.” These observations, often amusing, sometimes cynical, are snapshots of a Regency-era Christmas:
Sad sameness of Christmas dinners.
Every tablespoon in the house flaming with burnt brandy.
Growing civility of sweeps, dustmen and patrols: plainly denoting that the era of Christmas-boxes is at hand.
Grave papas, usually seen about without an accompaniment, were met dragging along children in couples, and occasionally stopping to peep into toy-shop windows.
Premature twelfth-cakes stealing behind confectioners’ counters.
Grimaldi and the new pantomime: front rows filled by urchins, who, at every knock-down-blow, fling back their flaxen polls, in delight, into the laps of their chuckling parents on the seat behind.
— The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, Vol. VII, 1823
A glance at Christmas Past, albeit Parthian, as we speed on to the Christmases of tomorrow.
Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!