Each year, the Geffrye Museum’s eleven period living rooms are transformed with authentic festive decorations, lighting, music and greenery to give visitors a magical glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years.
A perennial favourite, many visitors say that the Christmas Past exhibition has become an essential part of their own Yuletide traditions. Step back through the centuries and discover the origins and meanings of some of the rich and vibrant traditions of Christmas past, from feasting, dancing and kissing under the mistletoe to playing parlour games, hanging up stockings, sending cards, decorating the tree and throwing cocktail parties.
This year a programme of events will focus on the 18th century in celebration of the tri-centenary of the museum’s almshouse buildings. Festive food will be served in the café and visitors can browse for unusual gifts, cards and Christmas decorations in the shop. The 2014 season runs from Tuesday the 25th of November to Sunday the 4th of January 2015.
Events include, Crocheted Christmas a workshop for adults which uses crochet to create contemporary seasonal decorations including snowflakes, stars and baubles.
Saturday 6 December, 10.30am – 4.30pm Tickets £30/£25 concs (includes all materials).
All ages are welcome to an open evening in A Georgian Christmas. Enjoy Christmas Past by candlelight, listen to festive music, learn about seasonal entertainments or bring children to a decoration-making workshop. Enjoy a festive supper in our café or browse in the shop. Come and be merry!
Thursday 4 December, 5-8pm. Free
The Concert by Candlelight is an event for adults which will bring a moving recital of a capella Christmas music by acclaimed group Bocca Aperta.
Thursday 11 December. Museums 7.30pm, concert 8pm. Tickets £16/£13 concs (includes a glass of sherry or port and a mince pie).
Another for all ages is Farewell to Christmas. Join in the Geffrye’s traditional burning of the holly and the ivy, with carol singing, stories about Epiphany and a taste of mulled wine and Twelfth Night cake. Please note that this event takes place in the garden, so wrap up warm! Tuesday 6 January, 3.30-5pm. Free
An adult workshop brings guests Christmas Greenery as the Geffrye gardeners attempt to create a Georgian-inspired festive decoration with fresh greenery. Saturday 13 December, 1.30-4.30pm. Tickets £35/30 concs (includes short talk, workshop and all materials)
Finally an adult aimed Exhibition Talk: Christmas Past in Focuswill explore Georgian Christmas traditions in this informal gallery talk. Saturday 13 December, 11.30am and 3pm. Free
To book for ticketed events contact 020 7739 9893 or email the bookings team 136 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London E2 8EA