The Great British Christmas

Top London department store Harrods threw open its doors to their world renowned Christmas shop in July this year! Capitalising on swollen tourist numbers in London due to the Olympic Games, Father Christmas and his sleigh appeared as soon as the schools broke up for summer.
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The vast 8,000 sq ft Christmas department has its usual staggeringly beautiful festive display incorporating a snow-globe village, pop-up gingerbread Harrods shop-front and a full-size alpine ski chalet. There is even a replica of the iconic Tower of London!

The history of Christmas in the UK dates back to 6th century England and by the Middle Ages, it was a well-established important holiday with traditional pageantry, customs, music and feasting all of its own.

However in 1647, the English parliament passed a law that made Christmas illegal, all festivities were banned by the Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell, who considered feasting and revelry on what was supposed to be a holy day to be immoral. The ban was thankfully lifted when Cromwell lost power in 1660.

Oddly there is still an act which has never been repealed stating that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas day – and must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service – thankfully not a law that is enforced today! It was in Queen Victoria´s reign that Christmas became a time for gift giving and a special season for children.

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Research reveals that the average family clamber out of bed at 8 am – presumably after a child frenzied stocking session. On average your first mouthful of chocolate will be at 8.39am and by 11.07am you are likely to be ticking off the children! Not surprisingly then your first alcoholic beverage is likely to be at 11.48am, lunch at 3.24pm and the napping starts at 4.58pm – or so say Jarlsberg cheese who commissioned the study.

Their statistics show that 27 per cent of families will sit down to watch the Queen’s speech but with the sheer amount of pomp and ceremony seen this year in the UK and the popularity of the monarchy soaring, it begs the question whether more people will take the time to tune in at 3pm?

Whatever Christmas holds for you the one thing that is very important is the feeling of timeless tradition. The turkey dinner, mince pies, Christmas pudding, crackers, stockings and presents under the tree are what makes this day so special.

And at the very heart of this is the home that you spend the day in. Memories of Christmas as a child for most of us are wrapped up with remembering our bedrooms and the stockings at the end of the bed, traipsing into Mum and Dad’s room, running downstairs to see how big the pile of presents was under the tree, sitting in the kitchen licking the bowl and opening the front door to welcome guests.

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Home – this is a major part of Christmas and here is a house that would make your Christmas dreams come true. Keepers Wood – just the name sounds secure – the kind of house that protects and nurtures; this house is positioned in the heart of the Wentworth Estate – a private estate that was designed almost one hundred years ago. And although the houses are more modern and lustrous today than they were then, this plantation has not changed very much at all. The land plots have remained the same and the golf is the same terrifically high standard.

It’s comforting to know that Father Christmas won’t get lost looking for your chimney in this calm and tranquil Surrey parkland and as the drawing room has beautiful contemporary fireplace.

Worried about food storage? Then the gargantuan walk in larder will be a great place to keep everything cool. Four ovens will make cooking turkey and all the trimmings a breeze and having two dishwashers will make clearing up a breeze.

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With a fabulous dining / drawing room there will be plenty of space for everyone to enjoy their Christmas meal and if you need some quiet time then the snug TV room could be a god send. Lots of noisy kids driving you nuts? Then the games room the on the top floor will be a major hit too!

Keepers Wood is a luxury family home offering extensive accommodation arranged over three floors and has been built to Octagon’s award winning standard of specification and finish. The house has 4 reception rooms, five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The property is priced at £4,750,000.

For more information contact Barton Wyatt on 0134 484 3000 or visit www.bartonwyatt.co.uk.

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