Sunday, 27 November 2011

The 12 Gays of Christmas

Today is the First Sunday in Advent. It is the start of the pre-Christmas season where we look forward to and prepare for Christmas itself. Shops have been doing that since August, but they observe a different kind of Christmas.

If you want to celebrate Christmas in the traditional manner you’d be decorating your home from this week. In fact, the Victorians were the first to start putting up decorations this early. Generally, the Victorians didn’t do anything until after Christmas Day. The craze for history, the emergence of neo-Gothicism and the popularity of Dickens’ writings created the Christmas we know today (most alleged pagan origins were invented by the Victorians at about this time). You’d do a little more decorating each Sunday until the very last moment of Christmas Eve when you put a star on top of the Christmas tree. To put the star up before sunset on Christmas Eve is unlucky. You’ll keep the decorations up until the end of Christmas on 1st February. In parts of Wales they still do. Taking down decorations on Twelfth Night (6th Jan.) just because you think it’s unlucky to leave them up is a modern idea, younger than I am.

The traditional holiday period when parties were held was during the Twelve Days of Christmas (again, doing it before Christmas Day is traditionally unlucky).

To celebrate Christmas I’m going to present my own version of the Twelve Days of Christmas which I call the Twelve GAYS of Christmas. Between now and Twelfth Night 2012 I’ll give information on 12 lgbt people with Christmas connections.

Among the 12 Gays will be a Pratt who became a Crisp, a female king and a ghostly writer. We’ll also hear about fairy tale castles, bathroom loofahs and more than one Christmas birth.

Obviously this will be a personal list which I hope you will enjoy. One trend I noticed when compiling it is that there is an unintentional bias towards male individuals (10 out of 12 are male, and of the others one isn’t even human!). It would have been good to have a more balanced list, but I’m already looking around for a new balanced set of 12 Gays for Christmas 2012!

The first in my list of 12 Gays of Christmas will be next Sunday – the 2nd Sunday in Advent – when I’ll talk about a character who always appears in Nativity plays but not in the Biblical nativity.

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