As we neared the end of 2017, Primary 5/6 explored some of our traditional Christmas customs many of which emanated from the Victorian period. The pupils researched how life was different in those days, and we used ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens as a context for our reading during Scottish Book Week. Pupils found traditional language in the texts such as; bestow, ledger, gaol, and recorded meanings from the dictionary. The class were surprised to learn that the original ‘Father Christmas’ not only wore a green cloak (in keeping with the Mid-Winter Festival) but that he did not initially come to bring presents for children! Instead, he went round neighbouring houses for food, drink and conversation with the adults! Greenery such as Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe were brought indoors as part of the Festival: a tradition which has continued with Christmas trees. Foodwise, we discovered that cakes called Twelfth Cake were eaten. These had pastry crowns on them, but this tradition evolved into our Christmas cake. Mince pies were popular, however contained meat rather than dried fruit. We made mince pies in class after a suggestion for a ‘Victorian Bake Off’ and Mary Berry would surely have marvelled at the creativity of these pies! P5/6 has some artful artists too and created Victorian tile designs for our feature Victorian fireplace.