I might not have spent my childhood in England, having Charles Dickens famous novel “A Christmas Carol” read aloud to me on dark winter nights in December but I did grow up seeing the many film versions of it. I have to admit I am not the biggest of Dickens fan out there but if there is any literature I always link with Christmas, it is that story of the old, rich man who learns to be generous at Christmas.
Last year I heard that the Charles Dickens Museum in the house where he once lived in Bloomsbury had decorated the old Georgian Town house with traditional decorations used in his time and I popped by to see the museum and get into the Christmas spirit. The house on 48 Doughty Street was Charles Dickens house in town from 1837 to 1839, fully restored with original furniture and belongings owned by the author. You can almost feel his presence in the house, see him walk through the many rooms and up the tall, narrow staircase, all the way up to his writing room where he sat writing Nicholas Nickleby among others.
Maybe it is becoming a tradition in the making because this year I had the urge to go again, thinking that it couldn’t really be a LDN Christmas without visiting the house and I brought my parents along this time to show them the festive spirit of the old house. Is there anything more Old School Christmas-y than mistletoe hanging down from ceilings and lamps, of dried slices of oranges, red ribbons, wreaths on colourful laquered frontdoors or conifer garlands placed on mantelpieces and on stairway bannisters along with red and white berries and apples? I dont think so!
It makes me (almost) want to go for a traditional christmas decoration for our dinnertable this year on Christmas Eve but alas, I am a modern Scandinavian who really, really loves the stylish simplicity of our more modern decorations. It only makes me love the decorations in the Dickens house even more though, taking me back to a time that no longer is. *