When should we start putting up decorations and celebrating Christmas festivities? Are you team Nov 1st? Dec 1st? A week before? Professor Helen Parish takes a look…

Our own Professor @HelenLParish takes a historical view of this question and how this debate has raged for centuries!

In the words of Perry Como’s classic, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. The pandemic has got many yearning for a little festive joy earlier than usual and, for some, it started looking like Christmas in early November. Trees, lights, tinsel and baubles were already appearing in streets and houses, and Christmas shopping was well underway.

But such early holiday spirit is not always well received by those who argue that Christmas is for, well, Christmas. It wouldn’t be Christmas though without such disagreements – they’ve been going on since early Christians started celebrating the birth of Christ. You can find the piece that she wrote for The Conversation in full here.

You can also find her blog on the origins of the twelve days of Christmas here

Helen Parish is a historian with interests in religion and belief in early modern Europe. She has written on the history of clerical celibacy and marriage in the western Church, as well as debates over superstition, miracles, magic, witchcraft, and early modern natural history. She is the author of Clerical Marriage and the English Reformation (Ashgate, 2000) and Clerical Celibacy in the West (Ashgate, 2010), and a range of books and articles on the history of the Reformation, religious belief, and the supernatural in early modern Europe.

You can find our more about Professor Helen Parish and her research at the University of Reading here

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