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Kidsophonic Dress Ideas 2010

Kidsophonic Magical Christmas - what shall I wear?

 

The theme is Christmas magic of the traditional variety - think chestnuts roasting, families gathered round the Christmas tree etc. For dressing up, we want to suggest traditional Christmas themes, based on the idea of 'A Christmas Carol'. (Many of the ideas that Christmas traditions are based on came from the popularity of this story in Victorian times).  If you are struggling with this, the following ideas and information might help

Charles Dickens and Christmas

Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol are credited with reigniting Christmas traditions. When Oliver Cromwell had come to power in 1649, he banned caroling and other merrymaking, insisting that Christmas should be a somber time. Despite the Restoration in 1660, Christmas remained a quiet family holiday until the mid-19th century, when there was a general nostalgia for the sort of Christmases chronicled in the pre-Cromwell days.

For Dickens, having known poverty as a child and being very concerned for Britain's urban poor, whose numbers were growing and whose situation becoming more dire in the face of the Industrial Revolution, Christmas was deeply symbolic. The novella was a means of both addressing the mistreatment of the poor and turning Christmas into a season of light, warmth and cheer.

The story was an immediate success and from then on, nearly every notion of Christmas, from the food to the games to the gifts to the carols, could be attributed to Dickens. It is no wonder that when we think of dressing in a period Christmas costume, what comes to mind is that worn in the time of Dickens.

The Look of Dickens Christmas Costumes

Dickens Christmas costumes, when used for caroling or reenactments, are usually from the late Victorian era. For women, this will include a gown or blouse and skirt worn over a hoopskirt and petticoats, a capelet, bonnet and muff. A man's costume consists of long trousers worn over boots, a frock coat, high-necked shirt, waistcoat, gloves and top hat. While this would have been standard winter wear, you can add Christmas touches that are still authentic - such as trimming hats with festive plaid or flora. You can mix and match some styles, but for the most part, this is the way to evoke the period.

Dickens Carolers Dickens Lady  

More Victorian Fancy Dress ideas here

 

 

Other Christmas Men ideas

Old Time Christmas Carolers, wise man, shepherd, angel Gabriel, toy soldier

Wise Men   Wise Men 2  Shepherd Toy Soldier 
 
Other Christmas Ladies ideas

Old Time Christmas Caroler, Mother Christmas, Snow Queen, Christmas Angel, Victorian Christmas Skater (with fur-trimmed cape and muff), Sugar Plum Fairy

Snow Queen Mrs Santa Sugar Plum Fairy Sugar Plum Fairy 2

 

If you are still stuck, wearing red and/or white, with dashes of silver sparkles will give the idea.  You don't have to spend a lot of money, but we want the effect to be colourful, festive and interesting for the children, so use your imaginations - we always come up with a lovely effect.  We will have some 'grotto' like lighting hopefully, which will help the atmosphere!

 

 

Also, the BBC are doing some things on Victorian Christmas.  There's a link to the 'Victorian Farm' Christmas page, and next week there is a programme with Ian Hislop on Victorian Britain.  There is also a free copy of 'A Christmas Carol' in next week's Radio Times

http://www.bbc.co.uk/victorianchristmas/history.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/comingup/the-do-gooders/