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Christmas Past Exhibition

400 Years of Seasonal Traditions in English Homes

Tuesday 27 November 2007 - Sunday 6 January 2008

Room 10 at Christmas Past Room 11 at Christmas Past Edwardian baubles

Mid Century Room and 1990s Room during Christmas Past and
Edwardian baubles - photography Steven Speller

Conjure up the true spirit of Christmas Past with a visit to the Geffrye’s intriguing annual exhibition. Every year, the museum’s period rooms are decorated in authentic festive style, giving visitors a vivid and evocative impression of Christmas celebrations in English homes over the past four centuries.

This year’s accompanying programme of events will focus on 20th century festivities, highlighting the main developments and changes in the domestic celebration of Christmas. The switch from home-crafted to shop-bought decorations, the increasing popularity of Santa Claus and the growing prominence of children during the season will all be explored in talks, events and through the displays.

Related Events and Activities


Contemporary Christmas Cards Workshop

  • Saturday 1 December, 1.30 – 4.30pm. Tickets £20 in advance, includes materials.

Try a variety of printing techniques and use special and recycled papers to create a stylish range of Christmas cards.

Christmas Greens Workshop

  • Saturday 8 December, 1.30 – 4.30pm. Tickets £25, includes short talk, workshop and all materials.

Make your own traditional Christmas decorations – with a contemporary twist.

Period Room Talk: Edwardian Christmas

  • Saturday 8 December, 11.30am and repeated at 3.00pm. Free.

An informal talk in the Edwardian room exploring how the Victorian Christmas was transformed during the early 20th century into our modern celebration.

Concert by Candlelight

  • Thursday 13 December, concert begins at 8.00pm, museum opens at 7.30pm. Tickets £12.50 in advance (includes a glass of sherry or port and a mince pie).

Acclaimed vocal group Bocca Aperta returns to the Geffrye with a moving recital of a capella Christmas music.


Free workshops for young people aged 5-16. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

Christmas Crackers

  • Saturday 1 December, 10.30am – 12.30pm and 2.00 - 4.00pm.

Create unique Christmas crackers with special surprises hidden inside.

Twelfth Night Puppets

  • Saturday 5 January, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2.00-4.00pm.

Create puppets of your favourite Twelfth Night characters.

Mid-winter Tales

  • Sunday 6 January, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30pm

Listen to a story of the baking of a Twelfth Night cake and other tales.

Teenagers’ Workshop: Christmas Cookery

  • Saturday 1 December, 2.00–4.00pm. Tickets £3 in advance, includes all ingredients.

Bake delicious seasonal favourites: spiced biscuits, gingerbread men, cakes and pieces.


Special Evening Opening: Find Your Festive Spirit

  • Thursday 6 December, 5.00 - 8.00pm. Free admission and events.

Experience Christmas Past by candlelight, enjoy festive music performed by Pegasus, one of London’s leading chamber choirs, listen to a seasonal room talk or bring children to a Christmas decoration-making workshop. Seasonal fare will be available in the restaurant and visitors can hunt for unusual gifts in the shop. A fun-filled evening for all ages.

Farewell to Christmas

  • Sunday 6 January 2008, 4.00 - 5.00pm. Free admission.

Join us in the Geffrye’s annual Twelfth Night celebrations. Festivities include the burning of the holly and the ivy, stories about Epiphany, carol singing, and a taste of mulled wine and Twelfth Night cake. Please note that this event takes place in the garden, so wrap up warm.