OK, so I know I am being lazy, but it is Christmas and I am therefore once more ‘lifting’ a lovely George Cruikshank print from the Lewis Walpole site, and adding to it the description of what goes on, based on the information shown by the British Museum. The print is entitled “At home in the nursery, or, The Masters & Misses Twoshoes Christmas party”, and was published on 3rd January 1826.
According to the British Museum site: “Fourteen small children amuse themselves uproariously in a small space. Four little girls in party-dresses, dance holding hands round a lady who tosses an infant; two of them hold up dolls. A fat and grinning cook stands in the doorway with a tray of jelly-glasses, cake, and fruit. The biggest boy rides a rocking-horse, giving a view-hallo; another boy with an overturned chair for horses, drives in a professional manner a high-slung rectangular cradle (left) in which sits a little girl holding a doll and an open umbrella. A little boy with a wooden sword tries to storm a table, defended by two others, with drum, trumpet, and Union Jack. These children are dressed up to suit their parts. In the foreground (right) two children build a card-house on the floor, with skipping-rope, toy soldiers, and horse and cart beside them. On the left are a top and whip, and an Eaton Latin Grammar. On the wall is pinned a caricature of Dr Syntax.”
I rather like it because it shows the excitement of Christmas in times gone by – it is noisy, exuberant, full of kids, lots of food, and everyone having fun. No computer games, no TV, no total lack of social interaction. And with that thought in mind: HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!