A Yorkshire Christmas

The Christmas Dalesmans are out, and this year’s issue contains another bumper crop of Yorkshire Christmases past and present.

Christmas tree outside Appleton Wiske Post Office

Christmas tree outside Appleton Wiske Post Office

This year, I saw how Christmas was celebrated by everyone, from the poorest pauper in the workhouse, to fortunate modern children, decorating gingerbread houses with lots of sweets. I heard the York Waits play music that echoes through the years, from times when the only winter comfort was the enormous Yule log burning on the fire. And over at Nunnington Hall, staff re-create the special events when villagers were invited into the luxurious Hall for Christmas celebrations.

As I write, we are again deep in snow, and it’s easy to see why Christmas is such an important festival in Yorkshire. The turning of the year, and the prospect of summer again, is the hope that keeps us going.

As the drifts deepen, it’s best to stay at home and keep warm. But those of us who can do this are indebted to the people who work extra hard to maintain our essential services through the bad weather.

Think of the people working in jobs such as milk collections, road gritters, food and fuel deliveries, and medical services. They have been working extra hard, taking the time and trouble to battle through bad weather to take care of the rest of us.

So I hope that they will get a thoroughly deserved Christmas break and a good dinner. Merry Christmas to all – especially those valiant essential workers.

About Helen Johnson

Freelance writer specialising in Yorkshire's history and heritage.

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