Wreathed in glory and jollity… or homely Hackney Christmas competitiveness?

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
Everybody needs good neighbours, says the soap-opera theme song — and it’s true
ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
Creative

 

HANGING A CHRISTMAS WREATH on your door is like a henna tattoo: it adds colour and decoration but is not permanent.

And like a tattoo, it may prompt comment from those around you… “’Ere, ’oo do they fink they are — they trying’ to show us up or somefink?”

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
Small is stylish
ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
Ahead with red

Perhaps. The tradition might instead  signify just social oneupmanship (someone, invent a non-gender version of that word, please).

Even a non-sociologist will notice that the wreaths around Hackney are, as this tiny sample from the E8 district shows, mostly a manifestation of middle-class aesthetics if not values.

Paradoxically, it could have originated not with the affluent but with poor parishioners, keeping alive some features of a pre-Christian midwinter festival.

TwelfthNight©david,altheer@gmail,com
From Patricia Morrell’s excellent Festivals And Customs (Piccolo, 1977)

Or it could come from a St Thomas’s Day (aka, shortest day, 21 December) custom of women and girls going from door to door to seek provisions from wealthier neighbours for a Christmas feast and in return leaving holly and mistletoe at doors in gratitude.

Well, neighbourhood rivalries are as old as Christmas but what’s cheering is that to hang a circle of holly or something like it is to make a tiny protest at the commercialisation of what started as a commemoration of the birth of a child who grew up to be a religious revolutionary.

 

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London 030118 © david,altheer@gmail,com
Classic

 

In any case, the manifestation of peace and joy, surprisingly large this Christmas, should be recorded in all its entwining glory.

© CvA 2018
A little goes a long way

Before the wreaths of yuletide are taken down tomorrow Saturday 6 January 2018, the 12th (and generally agreed, last) day of Christmas, let us celebrate them.

David Altheer 050118

* Pictures © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com and all for sale for reproduction. Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink.

 

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
Punkish?

 

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London 030118 © david,altheer@gmail,com
Cool understatement — wood for added winter warmth

XXX

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
As if from the frozen north

 

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London 030118 © david,altheer@gmail,com
Home-made

 

ChrisWreath©DA: Christmas @ Hackney London © david,altheer@gmail,com
Side by side
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