Merry Christmas everyone!
I love the Christmas period: the lights, the decorations, the mulled wine, the time with family, it all adds to making miserable weather bearable. Christmas Day is just the cherry on the cake.
This year is the first year I haven’t lived at home, so as 1st December hit, I was buying and decorating my first tree as an adult, setting a new tradition. This got me thinking of other peoples’ traditions:
My mum told me that when she was growing up a Christmas tree was only for the 12 days of Christmas (25th Dec-5th Jan) and it was family tradition to decorate it on the 24th. This was also the Doyle family tradition as we know from Lady Doyle’s letter to her daughter-in-law Nina:
They were a very friendly family and Arthur Conan Doyle had a fantastic sense of humour. One year he sent a friend a Christmas postcard…from his dog!
In the age of Facebook and Twitter, Christmas cards often get forgotten about, but cards don’t forget Sherlock Holmes. I dug out a few of my favourite examples from the archive:
This one has a religious overtone. Watson and Sherlock are stood looking over the nativity scene and inside are quotes from Sherlock in The Naval Treaty and The Blue Carbuncle, which I liked. They capture the traditional, loving tone of Christmas:
Our highest assurance of the goodness of God seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things…are really necessary for our existence…But flowers are an extra…an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers
I suppose that I am committing a felony, but it is possible that I am saving a soul…besides it is the season of forgiveness
Fans love creating Sherlock things and one such fantastic example is the ‘Sherlock Holmes Cherubs’ Christmas card. Image invented by Christopher Morley (Baker Street Irregular):
But it has to be said, my personal favourite is the following card. A gold embossed picture of Holmes by a festive looking fire, playing his violin.
Although Mr. Sherlock Holmes was never one to be overcome with he festivities of any holiday season, we could well imagine his celebrating by finishing a, “…brace of cold woodcock, a pheasant, a pâté-de-foie-gras pie, with a group of ancient and cobwebby bottles.” Then, “Leaning back in his armchair…,” and scraping “…carelessly at the fiddle…” And since “…a well played violin is a treat for the gods”, he might finally choose “…some of Mendelssohn’s Lieder…,” the “Hoffman Barcarole,” or, perhaps on a special night, even a Christmas carol, as he relaxes in warm solitude before the glowing coals of the dying fire. (NOBL, STUD, MAZA)
So even Sherlock Holmes can manage to be a little bit festive in this season of good-will. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!