Christmas Past at the Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye Museum is all about how we live and how our homes have changes through the centuries. This Christmas as usual they will be celebrating Christmas past, with the focus on how we have chosen to celebrate the festive season in our homes over the course of the past four hundred years. When you visit the museum you will find that the period rooms have taken on the festive cheer of years gone by as authentic decorations have been added to mark the festive season. The focus is very much on the homes of the middle classes and includes many things that the families of today can relate to just as much as those that celebrated in the 17th century. The Christmas Past exhibition is now very much a Christmas tradition for the museum itself and is an exhibition that is most popular with visitors to the museum.

Photo by Heather Cowper
Photo by Heather Cowper

About the Exhibition

Every time you step into a different room you will also be stepping through time into a different era in our domestic history. Visitors will learn about the origins of some of the Christmas traditions that are observed today, plus they will also learn about some of the traditions from Christmas past which have fallen into disuse over the centuries. Discover why people kiss beneath the mistletoe and the significance of the Christmas stocking. Aside from the exhibition itself there will also be a number of events running alongside which will complement the yuletide theme such as being able to enjoy a variety of modern and historical festive food in the museum restaurant, or choosing from a wide range of traditional and authentic season gifts in the museum gift shop. It is a great place to find something unique and original this Christmas.

Other Events

The museum will also be hosting ‘An Edwardian Christmas’ at which there will be a candle light talk, a demonstration of making decorations with greenery, lots of authentic Christmas music and a wonderful family atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Say goodbye to the festive season with the traditional holly and ivy burning in January, and listen to stories about the Epiphany complete with mulled wine and a bit of twelfth night cake. Remember to wrap up warm as this is an outside event which takes place in the museum gardens. Both of these events are free and suitable for all of the family.

For the adults there will be a candlelight concert held in the reading room featuring acapella Christmas songs around the Christmas tree performed by Bocca Aperta. Adults can also learn how to make their own festive decorations using seasonal greenery at a special workshop, where they will also learn about the traditions and origins of the things that they make. There is also a talk focussing on the traditions of an Edwardian Christmas. The museum will also be hosting a special family day featuring carol singing and festive workshops for everyone to get involved in.

For details of free events plus ticket prices, dates and times check out the museum’s website.

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