The museum in London that is most closely associated with Christmas has decked its halls and rooms and put on a seasonal display.
Although Charles Dickens didn’t “invent” Christmas, until he wrote his famous novel, Christmas was mainly seen as a rural festival, and one that had been left behind in the fields as the industrial revolution lured people into the towns and cities.
It was his release of A Christmas Carol, and his subsequent annual Christmas novels that were to tap into an existing hunger for something missing from urban life, a sense of the loss of traditions and a connection with nature. Urban people brought greenery into the home, as decorations and if rich enough, a tree, and created many of the traditions we associate with the classic Christmas holiday.
So Dickens didn’t invent old Christmas, he did invent the modern Christmas.
So just as the shops decorate to lure us into buying presents, the Charles Dickens museum decorates to remind us of the father of the modern Christmas.
The main rooms are given a festive makeover, and some extra letters written by the man over Christmas about his festive efforts have been put on display. There are also a number of performances of Dickens stories over the Christmas period, including of course, that one, and also their Oliver Twist exhibition has been extended through to next year.
They have mince pies in the cafe.