The Victorian Christmas is a joyous occasion. First and foremost, it is a religious holiday, but giving and family were important themes. Most were handmade, so were started many months before. Mufflers, embroidered handkerchiefs, bookmarks, pen wipers, and other useful gifts were lovingly stitched, glued, and coloured for family members and friends through the fall and winter months. Wrappings of coloured paper, tissue, and cloth were chosen with ribbons to compliment.
The air is filled with the smells and sounds of the approaching holiday. The scent of roasted chestnuts from street vendor’s wafts through the crisp air, the sharp scent of evergreens draped around some doors, wreaths give a festive look to doors and windows. Not all, some cling to the superstition that says you must not put up greens until Christmas Eve. On street corners street musicians are singing traditional melodies. Carollers stroll along, stopping to sing for people and selling a sheet of music.
Busy shoppers hurry along on foot or in carriages getting last minute gifts, a trip to the shop to match a bit of thread, the bakery to order some little cream horns . . . so much to do!
Christmas 2012 in Kidsgrove was launched spectacularly with the towns annual Victorian Christmas Market on Saturday 1st December. Kidsgrove Town Council Events and Celebrations Committee once again delivered the high profile event in the most traditional style smashing its usual footfall and attracting visitors from all across Staffordshire. The town took a step back in time for the event and welcomed Father Christmas from the Rotary to bring cheer and joy to local children.
This year’s refreshments included Mince Pies, mulled wine, Jacket potatoes with a mix of fillings and our famous Hot Dogs. Many people flocked to try our more traditional items on the menu and many commented on how impressed they were with the home brewed mulled wine but at 29% alc we are not surprised it was enjoyed.
The Christmas celebration was launched by the Choir of Clough Hall Technology School and followed by the Tamil Dancers of the Tamil school in Stoke-on-Trent. Of course it is important to remember that India was part of the British Empire during Queen Victoria’s reign and so we share close links so why not celebrate their culture along with ours. To top it off the Chairman of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Councillor Stephen Ellis joined us for the celebrations and to spread the word of Kidsgroves famous market.
In the afternoon we were treated to performances by Kidsgrove Community Choir and St Thomas’ Primary School Choir. The music and voices sounded like angels in heaven singing from the beams of the well decorated hall. So many people commented how entertained they were with the array of performances on offer.
Traditional stalls were spread all around the hall with gifts and treats to offer. People gathered to taste Cllr Parkers chocolate fudge brownies and American style cookies wrapped in brown paper bags and Christmassy red ribbon. Homemade Christmas decorations fit for any tree were glistening in the light for that customer wishing to create a magical festive celebration at home. Charity stalls and local business teamed up to show off what they have to offer. The Potteries Guinea Pig Association set up their Guinea Pig Christmas Nativity to raise money for this year’s vet bills.
Thank you to all involved to make this special event a huge success and helping to raise £850 for the Mayor’s charity the Alzheimer’s Society.
Each Christmas as it passes
Some change to us doth bring
Yet to our friends the closer,
As Time creeps on, we cling.