Monthly Archives: December 2013

Origins of the Tradition of Christmas Gift Giving

“Then they opened their treasures and presented him the gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” In Biblical times, the gift of gold indicated the receiver stood in high standing, but giving gold to a child would have … Continue reading

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The Treasure of “Myrrh”

Myrrh /ˈmɜr/ is the aromatic resin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which is an essential oil termed an oleoresin. Myrrh resin is a natural gum. It can also be ingested by mixing it … Continue reading

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Celebrating Christmas Movies

Since the onset of film, a little over a century prior, Christmas has been employed as plot device for some of our most endearing films, as well as those not so engaging. Today, we have channels, such as the Hallmark … Continue reading

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What is a “Cracker”?

Tom Smith invented the cracker in 1847. One hundred and sixty-three years later, it is an integral part of many holiday celebrations, and it has become a traditional part of British events. The cracker is a small cardboard tube covered … Continue reading

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“Here We Come A-Wassailing” ~ Plus the Release of Susana Ellis’s A Twelfth Night Tale + Giveaway + Excerpt

Today, I am so pleased to have Susana Ellis join me on my blog to speak of one of a Christmastide’s long-lasting traditions. To celebrate her appearance, Ms. Ellis has generously offered a special giveaway to accompany her post. Enjoy … Continue reading

Posted in British history, food and drink, Great Britain, holidays, real life tales, Regency era, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Scotland’s Nostradamus: The Brahan Seer

The Brahan Seer, Kenneth Mackenzie (or Coinneach Odhar), is Scotland’s most famous prophet. Often referred to as the Scottish Nostradamus, Mackenzie lived in the 17th Century. Most experts believe that he was born on the Isle of Lewis (at Baile-na-Cille … Continue reading

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Victorian England: The Stockport Viaduct, One of the Largest Brick Structures in Europe

The Stockport Viaduct is a large brick-built bridge which carries the West Coast Main Line across the valley of the River Mersey, in Stockport, Greater Manchester (grid reference SJ89089030). It is the largest brick structure in Europe and was designed … Continue reading

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Victorian England ~ The Penny Black: First Adhesive Postage Stamp

The Penny Black was the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on 1 May 1840. Unfortunately, not all post offices in the UK received official issues of the new stamps. … Continue reading

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Victorian England: Sir Rowland Hill, Reformer of the Postal System

Sir Rowland Hill KCB, FRS (3 December 1795 – 27 August 1879) was an English teacher, inventor and social reformer. He campaigned for a comprehensive reform of the postal system, based on the concept of Uniform Penny Post and his … Continue reading

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Victorian Celebrities: Thomas Henderson, First Person to Measure the Distance to Alpha Centauri

A Scottish astronomer and mathematician, Thomas James Alan Henderson (28 December 1798 – 23 November 1844) was the first person to measure the distance to Alpha Centauri, the major component of the nearest stellar system to Earth, and for being … Continue reading

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