Treasurer's House, York

The speaker today was Liz Almond She explained her love of Blackwork, showing us the first piece she did around her City and Guild years. From listening to one of the heated debates at Speakers' Corner, to taking a trip across the city in a vintage double-decker bus, attending a choir concert at Westminster Cathedral, to discussing the weather at a pub, London can be quite a demanding vacation. While getting a London pass with the Travel option allows visitors free access to over 55 attractions and free access to the Underground and city buses, the city also has a number of economy hotels that are designed to provide comfort at inexpensive rates. Don't forget to visit these places when you travel to London this Christmas season.

When businesses where I've worked instructed us to say Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas, I said both whenever possible and if not, I thought about The Twelve Days of Christmas and the code. They all experienced the ban by English Parliament on Christmas celebrations for being sacrilegious and they stopped making mince pies. I enjoyed the comedy set among the revelries that were once outlawed for Christmas in UK and Colonial America.

Sugar plums were also available for Christmas dinner and also, often hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration. So by the late Victorian period it would not have been unusual to see Christmas crackers laid out on the table next to the silverware, crystal glasses and fine bone china. As with everything else at Christmas it was only the well off who could afford to give gifts. Their Christmas stockings usually only contained and apple and an orange - if they were lucky.

As in parts of Europe, St. Nicholas / Santa Claus merged into Christmas and, following the publication of Clement Moore's famous poem, The Night Before Christmas, his fame began to grow in the U.S. In many other parts of the world he has been transformed into a U.S. style Santa Claus and will not make his way around the world leaving gifts for children until Christmas Eve. However, we must remember that York Christmas Markets Christmas has always been more than just a religious holiday. It amazes me that there has been a St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City every year for the past 251 years.



Remembering or re-creating the Nativity (the birth of Jesus) is one of the central ways that Christians celebrate Christmas. More businesses and stores close on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. In the United Kingdom , the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 prevents all large shops from trading on Christmas Day. It is estimated that in 2001 Christmas resulted in a $4 billion deadweight loss in the U.S. alone.

However, today's celebration of the holiday has less in common with the papist version of Whacking Day of old than it does with Liberalia , an ancient Roman holiday also celebrated on March 17 wherein a procession of teenage boys marched giant penises throughout the countryside and sang dirty songs. St. Patrick's Day celebrants in New York may not know their ancient pagan holidays, but the spirit of Liberalia is alive and well in the line to enter the city's oldest continuously operating purveyor of Irish nostalgia.

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