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 Post subject: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Dec 2017, 15:19 
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We get descriptions of the plays (at length!), but I'm trying to think if we hear anything else about Christmas preparations at the Chalet School. We used to decorate our classrooms - each class had to make/provide its own decorations, because it wasn't something covered by the school budget :lol: - and people usually gave cards to everyone else in the class, regardless of what religion they were or whether you liked them or not (although there were always a couple of people who didn't join in!). Maybe they didn't bother at the CS because they'd have broken up well before Christmas. Is there any mention of it anywhere?

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2017, 23:48 
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Joey and the Robin say they will send Christmas cards to Herr Anserel after he helps them on their way to Christmas in Innsbruck.( Pause for thumb sucking and can I get the book out now or keep it for Christmas Eve!?)

What always surprises me in the early books especially is how only the Austrian girls go home for Christmas, going to hotels with mistresses or going with Austrian friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 07:51 
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Do they ever put a Christmas tree up or decorations? It might also have been nice if they had Christmas parties with dancing and games and special Christmassy party food and the girls wearing their own party frocks.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 12:17 
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I don't think there was the same build up to Christmas back then. A lot of people put their tree up on Christmas Eve, and presents tended to be smaller and bought in the week or two before Christmas.

I'm always surprised, when I read children's books written in the 40s and 50s, at how Christmas doesn't really seem to be thought about much until a week or two beforehand.


Last edited by Vintagejazz on 13 Dec 2017, 16:04, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 12:44 
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Vintagejazz wrote:
I don't think there was the same build up to Christmas back then. A lot of people put their tree up on Christmas Eve, and presents tended to be smaller and bought in the week or two before Christmas.

I'm always surprised, when I read children's books written in the 40s and 50s, how Christmas doesn't really seem to be thought about much until a week or two beforehand.


Oh were it the same today!


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 13:52 
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lizco wrote:
Vintagejazz wrote:
I don't think there was the same build up to Christmas back then. A lot of people put their tree up on Christmas Eve, and presents tended to be smaller and bought in the week or two before Christmas.

I'm always surprised, when I read children's books written in the 40s and 50s, how Christmas doesn't really seem to be thought about much until a week or two beforehand.


Oh were it the same today!


I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. Far too much commercialisation of Christmas, which starts far too early. Far too high expectations from kids and consequent pressure on their parents.

We were quite content with one main present and a few small ones and we never put the tree or decorations (often home-made) up until we broke up from school a few days before Christmas.

Most people seem to have forgotten the true meaning and origins of Christmas.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 15:00 
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cal562301 wrote:
lizco wrote:
Vintagejazz wrote:
I don't think there was the same build up to Christmas back then. A lot of people put their tree up on Christmas Eve, and presents tended to be smaller and bought in the week or two before Christmas.

I'm always surprised, when I read children's books written in the 40s and 50s, how Christmas doesn't really seem to be thought about much until a week or two beforehand.


Oh were it the same today!


I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. Far too much commercialisation of Christmas, which starts far too early. Far too high expectations from kids and consequent pressure on their parents.

We were quite content with one main present and a few small ones and we never put the tree or decorations (often home-made) up until we broke up from school a few days before Christmas.

Most people seem to have forgotten the true meaning and origins of Christmas
.


Yes, it was the same when I was little. We got a big present under the tree, and small presents in our stockings and were almost hysterical with excitement on Christmas Eve. We also never put up the tree or decorations until about December 20th, so they were still a novelty around the house on Christmas day.

And every house had a crib up on the sideboard to mark the real Christmas story.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 20:05 
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My mum would always put the decorations up on the last day of school, so I knew the house would be done when I came home. She still uses the same decorations now, even the tree - although that has become quite a bit smaller over the years over the years due to wear and tear on the branches. She had to put aside the elderly tree lights this year though, as two of the bulbs had blown and she has no more spares. I am frantically searching every selling site under the sun for vintage tree light bulbs, but I suspect this close to Christmas, I will not be lucky in time.

Christmas seems to start withion milliseconds of the autumn term starting now. I refuse to acknowledge any part of until after Bonfire Night (apart from buying in bags of lebkuchen stars, which I do quite like).


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 22:13 
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I never saw our floor to ceiling tree until the living room door was opened on Christmas morning. My parents decorated it on Christmas Eve and the "reveal" was always overwhelmingly beautiful - it was lit by candles and sparkled with silver lametta. Which as we now know was laden with lead, but hung far better than the modern flimsy stuff.

At my boarding school in the 1950s we had house pantomimes and a house Christmas party. Both were very important and exciting events in what could otherwise be a fairly repetitive existence. I hope the CS were allowed to enjoy such things too...

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2017, 02:29 
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I don't have my tree up yet, but I am also on the opposite side of the Pacific from it at the moment. :D

I rather like spending Christmas in a non-Christian country. There's some Christmas stuff around, mostly at imported chain stories, but way less than you get in other places. I do my thing at home, and enjoy it, but it's not being shoved on me constantly, and I can focus more on the family/religious/food end of things than the rampant commercialism.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2017, 12:01 
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We don't have a tree up yet but that is mainly because we are getting our carpets cleaned tomorrow. It will, hopefully, go up at the weekend.

My daughter has her birthday on 17 December so when she was younger I never put up Christmas decorations until after this so Christmas would not overshadow her birthday. My own birthday is on the 25th itself and it is all a bit much.

I often take all the decorations down, with delight, as soon as I can once New Year's Day is over. It is bliss to get back to normal and I could not stand decorations up for the whole of December and more.

Edited to add - I am a believer and we were playing Christmas carols last night.


Last edited by Audrey25 on 14 Dec 2017, 12:06, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2017, 12:05 
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My father's birthday was 16 Dec, so we never decorated until a few days after that, so that his cards could go on the sideboard for a few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2017, 12:09 
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abbeybufo wrote:
My father's birthday was 16 Dec, so we never decorated until a few days after that, so that his cards could go on the sideboard for a few days.


Finding space for the birthday cards was also a problem with us. Now we put them on the windowsill snd white tak a lot of the Christmas cards to the door.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2017, 03:07 
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We have three December birthdays here, and appreciate any effort to differentiate those from Christmas. I do think Christmas has become this all-encompassing celebration lasting from October to January (at least in the USA, with increased emphasis in December) but my conversations with ordinary people seem to indicate that most of us would be glad of a ramping down of commercialism. Not that it's likely to happen....


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2017, 06:45 
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I find it bizarre that Advent which should be a time of waiting and anticipation has become a time for celebrating while the 12 days of Christmas, which should be a time of feasting and celebrating, are ignored apart from 3 days. Even Advent calendars are becoming increasingly self-indulgent.

I'm a "put decorations up on Christmas Eve (or the weekend before - sometimes you have to bow to practicalities) and take them down on the 6th of January" person. I find the commercial insistence on starting Christmas in July (first ads for booking Christmas meals) and decorating from October mean that any Christmassy spirit has worn off by December.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2017, 09:00 
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I feel as if we miss autumn out, because the Christmas stuff appears as soon as the schools go back. We still have Bonfire Night (don't go there with Hallowe'en!), and the National Trust and English Heritage try very hard to promote Harvest Festivals and Apple Days, but I still don't feel that autumn gets "marked" properly :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2017, 17:20 
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Quote:
I feel as if we miss autumn out, because the Christmas stuff appears as soon as the schools go back.

And 'Back to School' stuff is in the shops before the summer term is over. I feel sorry for schoolteachers, forcibly reminded of the new school year before they've even started their summer holidays.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2017, 03:30 
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cal562301 wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. Far too much commercialisation of Christmas, which starts far too early. Far too high expectations from kids and consequent pressure on their parents.
...
Most people seem to have forgotten the true meaning and origins of Christmas.


I saw a news panel in which one panellist who is an atheist was saying he didn't want his kids to be 'subjected' to Christmas nativity plays at school etc.

Then he was asked if he celebrated Christmas at home. And he got very very annoyed and said Christmas to his family was about getting together "not that religion stuff'. He just refused to concede it IS a religious holiday and insisted it had become so commercialised it isn't religious anymore.

I don't really understand that mentality at all. It's fine to celebrate it in your own way as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, but to totally divorce it from its religious origins and claim it as a secular holiday is absurd.

But he IS right that it has become very commercialised. My local Aldi had Christmas products in October!

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2017, 10:17 
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Some of the supermarkets put Easter eggs out on Boxing Day a few years ago :lol: :lol: . There was such a backlash in the media that they leave it till January now! Come to think of it, this is the first time in years that I haven't seen crème eggs in December.

One season at a time!

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2017, 11:30 
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Joyce wrote:
I saw a news panel in which one panellist who is an atheist was saying he didn't want his kids to be 'subjected' to Christmas nativity plays at school etc.

Then he was asked if he celebrated Christmas at home. And he got very very annoyed and said Christmas to his family was about getting together "not that religion stuff'. He just refused to concede it IS a religious holiday and insisted it had become so commercialised it isn't religious anymore.
Terribly simple, surely? If people want to celebrate Christmas but object to the religious aspect, take a leaf out of the Pagans' book and celebrate Yule instead.


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