The Geffrye Museum's annual Christmas Past exhibition

This annual exhibition illustrates how Christmas has been celebrated since the 1600s and includes a wide range of festive talks and craft workshops
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Recapture the magic of Christmas with a visit to the Geffrye's annual Christmas Past exhibition, from Tuesday 24 November until Sunday 3 January 2010.

Each year the museum's eleven period rooms are decorated in authentic festive style, evoking some of the rich and colourful traditions and celebrations of Christmases past which are often forgotten amid the hectic modern festive season.

From feasting, dancing and kissing under the mistletoe to playing parlour games, decorating the tree and throwing cocktail parties, Christmas Past will illustrate how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes from 1600 to the present day.

Christmas doesn't need to be costly and commercial. In tune with the current economic climate and to complement the museum's special Eco Home exhibition, this year's programme of related events will embrace 'make do and mend' and all things home-made.

Throughout the exhibition festive food will be served in the restaurant and visitors can hunt for original gifts, decorations, cards and books in the shop, or attend one of the many festive talks and craft workshops.

Christmas Craft Workshop for children


Saturday 5 December, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm
Children aged 5-16 years can use recycled materials to make a fabulous Christmas decoration. Admission is free.

Vintage Christmas Craft Workshop


Saturday 5 December, 11.30am to 4.30pm
Create a unique range of Christmas decorations using recycled fabrics. Tickets cost £25 per adult, including all materials.

Family evening: Find Your Festive Spirit


Thursday 10 December, 5pm to 8pm
This special open evening has an Eco Christmas theme - enjoy a Christmas decorations talk, listen to live festive music, or bring children to a Christmas card-making workshop. The evening will also feature a short talk by eco designer Oliver Heath, who will be signing his new book, Urban Eco Chic. Admission is free.

Swags and Garlands workshop


Saturday 12 December, 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Use greenery, seed pods, dried fruits, spices, scraps and pretty recycled materials to create gorgeous but environmentally-sound decorations for Christmas. Tickets cost £30 per adult (includes short talk, workshop and all materials).

Christmas Decorations Talk


Saturday 12 December, 11.30am and repeated at 3pm
Christmas hasn't always been about buying commercial decorations - for centuries people have been making their own. Join Christine Lalumia, Deputy Director, in the reading room to learn more.

Concert by Candlelight


Wednesday 16 December, concert begins at 8pm, museum opens at 7.30pm
A moving recital of Christmas music by acclaimed a cappella group Bocca Aperta. Tickets cost £14 per adult in advance (includes a glass of sherry or port and a mince pie).

Farewell to Christmas


Wednesday 6 January 2010, 4pm to 5pm
The Geffrye's traditional burning of the holly and the ivy, celebrated with carol singing, stories about Epiphany and a taste of mulled wine and Twelfth Night cake. Please note that this event takes place in the garden, so wrap up warm. Admission is free.

The Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London, E2. Call 020 7739 9893 or visit www.geffrye-museum.org.uk.
Open: Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, and Sundays from 12 noon to 5pm.
Closed: Mondays (except Bank Holidays) and from 24-28 December 2009, and 1 January 2010. Admission is free.

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