Tales of Christmas Past

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 30 – Tales of Christmas Past

In Tales of Christmas Past Lorna Thomas tells us how the Christmas that people celebrate today has come about. This is a talk full of the traditions of Christmas!

What does Christmas mean to you?

Lorna starts by asking what Christmas means to us, is it a tree with presents underneath it or does it mean the Nativity? She also explains why the 25th of December, in mid-winter, became the date of this Christian celebration.

Lorna then discusses the divide between those who talk about Christmas and and those who prefer Xmas. Apparently this is something that causes a great deal of tension.

St Stephen

We hear how St Stephen became part of Christmas and why his life is celebrated on the 26th December.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Many of us know this cumulative song with 12 verses, each celebrating gifts from ‘my true love’. I’m sure that few of us know the deep religious significance of these gifts to members of the Catholic church in England during the years of the Reformation.

The true significance of these words will surprise many.

A Christmas Carol

This book has become part of Christmas for many. 35 years ago the Vicar of St Peters in Wrecclesham, Harry Dickens, used to read parts of the book in church on Christmas Eve.

We hear that, of the many films of the book, that both critics and filmgoers consider the 1951 one starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge to be the best version.

St Nicholas

We learn how St Nicholas is celebrated across the world. Today he seems to have merged in many peoples minds with Father Christmas and become Santa Claus.

Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Robins and the other traditions

Christmas today is a complex celebration because of the traditions that have grown up over the centuries. Hear the whole of the Christmas story by listening to this podcast.

To view the slides accompanying this talk:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

This podcast is also available through the Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher ‘apps’.

AKM Music has licensed Media Magazine for use as the introductory music and Storyblocks has licensed Jingle Bells by Velimir Andreev for use as the ‘outro’ music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A World History Group 2020

Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.