Esoteric London

No. 999: High Road, N22

Posted in London Labour by esotericlondon on December 26, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_4760 copy

High Road, London, N22. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

London by Day and Night; or, Men and Things in The Great Metropolis – David W.Bartlett, 1851:

COSTUMES AND CUSTOMS

CHRISTMAS

The day after Christmas is a joyful day for menials, and a provoking on[e] for everybody else. It is a day for “Christmas boxes”. On that day every person who has during the previous year served you in any capacity almost, will present himself, tip his hat, and say –

“Christmas box, please, sir!” expecting you to make him a present of money. The custom is such an old one that few care to disobey it, but to an American in London it is a disagreeable usage. When the paper-carrier left at our apartments a morning copy of The Times, instead of allowing the servant to bring it to us, as usual, he made his own appearance at our breakfast-room door, and doffing his hat said – “Christmas box, please, sir!” There was no resisting his demand, and our purse was made thinner by his call. In a few moments the postman made his appearance, […].

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