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A Wartime Christmas

Arts, crafts and mental health

Reduction of Stress Hormones

Crafts can help to re-establish neural pathways and improve brain plasticity.

Lots of craft activities require repetition which is naturally calming and many require our full focus and attention which is a brilliant distraction from the stresses of everyday life.

Combat Stress UK

Combat Stress, the charity for veterans’ mental health, offers pottery classes.

Museums Host Craft Activities

Teach new skills and help people understand history

A Wartime Christmas

There were constant worries for those loved ones serving in the armed forces, away from home at Christmas. Children may have also been evacuated away from home and many people would be spending Christmas in air raid shelters rather than in their own homes.

Christmas Decorations

Homes were enthusiastically decorated for the festive season. Cut-up strips of old newspaper made very effective paper chains, holly, and other garden greenery which were foraged adorned the pictures on the walls, and pre-war decorations and glass baubles decorated make-do Christmas trees.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Dinner. Mock Mock Mock

The ships of the Merchant Navy were under attack from German U-Boats throughout ww2 at and rationing was introduced on 8th January 1940. At first, it was just bacon, butter, and sugar that were rationed but by 1942 many other foods, including meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and cooking fat were also on ration.

Christmas Dinner. Mock Mock Mock

Presents were often homemade and as wrapping paper was scarce, gifts were wrapped in brown paper, newspaper, or even small pieces of cloth. Kids’ toys were also in short supply but there were many toys you could make including dolls house furniture, model planes out of scrap metal, and even toys made from cotton reels.

Christmas Presents

At Christmas people were encouraged to post earlier, to ensure delivery. On the 16 December 1940 people were encouraged to write their house number in chalk, should the number have been destroyed by bombs. In December 1940 the Post Office asked its male workers in London to bring along their ‘wives, sweethearts, sisters and lady friends’ to help deliver Christmas mail.

Christmas Post