Already in my street the neighbours have put up Christmas lights. Of course, the supermarkets had Christmas displays in the aisles months ago.
There is a caricature about the Festive Season. It is a family time. It is a time we’re winding-down at work. In particular historical contexts that makes sense, but for many of us the caricature is plain nonsense. Some may indeed have family around for Christmas Day but for the rest of the season it is the usual solitary existence. For a few, there is simply no family. As for winding-down, that’s much less likely for the professional classes, especially in today’s economic climate. For academics, and for many non-academic professional historians, the Christmas-New Year period is the time to get on with the book-writing or that research project. Yes, the Festive Season is a change of pace, but usually it involves speeding-up, not slowing down.