11 Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About London At Christmas

Now you can crack those crackers and nail that Christmas trivia… 

 

1. The first commercial Christmas card was printed in London in 1843. It was commissioned by a bloke called Sir Henry Cole, and it pictures a family drinking wine. In 2001, it sold to an anonymous bidder for £22,250. Seems worth it… 

first-christmas-card
[Wikimedia Commons]
2. The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square (which appears to be getting a lot of shit this year) was sent to us by Oslo. They send us one every year to thank us for our help in the Second World War. What a nice bunch, eh?

3. London-based sweet maker, Tom Smith, created the first Christmas Cracker in 1847. He was inspired by bonbons wrapped in a twist of tissue paper when on a visit to Paris. 

tom-smith-crackers-london
[Flickr | Matt Brown]
4. William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey.

5. In 2007, the Children’s Society made the world’s largest stocking. It weighed as much as 5 reindeer, was as long as 3 double decker buses, and held almost 1,000 presents. It raised an incredible £14,000 for the Children’s Society. We’re bitter though, because the record was recently beaten by a yarn manufacturer in North Carolina. 

6. Harrods opened their Christmas department in July. July! Far too keen if you ask us… 

harrods-london-christmas
[Flickr | Lorenzo G]
7. Though not strictly a London specific fact, celebrating Christmas was totally banned between 1647 and 1660. Nice one Ollie Cromwell… bah humbug

8. Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s clerk in A Christmas Carol, lived in Camden. Charles Dickens himself actually resided in Camden as a kid (16 Bayham Street if you fancy visiting the plaque). We suspect he owned a lot of tobacco lollipops and incense…

9. Talking of Camden, the puppets for the 1992 adaptation of The Muppet Christmas Carol were created in what was once a warehouse on Oval Road. 

a-christmas-carol-london-muppets
[Flickr | 22860]
10. During the Christmas season, Harrods sees an average of 300,000 people PER DAY walk through its doors. Yuck. We feel stressed out just thinking about it…

11. Regent Street and Oxford Street’s Christmas lights were banned between 1971 and 1977 in order to save money. But thanks to good ole’ Prince Charles, they returned in 1978. 

regent-street-christmas-lights
[Flickr | Andrew Stawarz]
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