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Christmas past, present, and yet to come

Christmas past, present, and yet to come


Christmas is a nostalgic time of year for most, especially for those in the hospitality industry.  The King’s Head in Harborne is a popular eating and drinking spot and has been since its foundation in 1905.  Since the restoration and repositioning of The King’s Head Clock by Sandwell Council last year, the team here at The King’s Head have found their passion for reflecting on the history of their bustling venue; but what about their future, and how does this all compare to previous, current and future Christmas traditions?

Christmas Past:

One of the most famous Christmas traditions of the 1920’s was to make the Christmas Pudding – made popular by Prince Albert – on the last Sunday before Advent, known as ‘Stir Up Sunday’. The head of the family would add a silver sixpence into the Christmas pudding mix and then each family member would take a turn to mix the pudding and make a wish. If the sixpence was found in your slice of pudding on Christmas Day, it was thought to bring success, health and happiness for the coming year.


A typical Christmas Dinner in the 1920’s centred on a roast goose as most would not be able to afford the extravagance of turkey or ham. The meat would be served alongside a selection of home grown vegetables and homemade stuffing. Many of the traditions of Christmas dinner are passed on through generations as a reflection of their own fond Christmas memories.


In a 1929 homemaking book, it was suggested that it didn’t matter what was cooked on Christmas Day, as long as it was the same every year as it was believed that children loved repetition and it would encourage fond memories for later in life. Looking at families now, this is something that has been firmly placed in British traditions; some families have strict rules when it comes to Christmas dinner, some go out every year to the same place, some have a rota for who cooks each year.


Christmas Present:

Christmas traditions have changed quite significantly since the 1920’s; The King’s Head have taken a look into what’s trending for the festive period in 2016.


Jo Scone, Marketing Manager at The King’s Head said, “Decorations this year are all about rustic, natural materials and reflective lights, moving into a more ‘retro’ feel with decorative but playful candelabras, and ‘vintage’ tea plates, maybe similar to what they would have called modern in the 1920’s. There’s also more ‘up-cycling’ happening; for example, turning a disused light bulb into a snowman ornament.  Homemade ornaments and gifts are having a huge comeback this year, much as people would have done back in the 1920’s such as making homemade crackers filled with thoughtful gifts instead of plastic moustache combs and jokes. There’s definitely a playful nod to the ‘make-do-and-mend’ era this Christmas, perhaps this is simply a new generation of Brits who are becoming increasingly savvy with their money”.

Christmas Yet to Come:

It’s hard to imagine how generations to come will celebrate Christmas Day.  Will the next generation be riding around on hover-boards (the handle-less Segway that was one of the most popular ‘wish list’ gifts in 2015 certainly suggests so)? Will Britain be celebrating a ‘vintage’ Christmas with microwave meals or dehydrated packets of turkey; add a few drops of water and there’s an entire steaming hot turkey in just a few seconds? Or could it be, with the help of ‘modern’ technology, that Christmas dinner will be 3D printed?


Jo Scone said, “We love it when families come together to dine with us at Christmas time. It makes us wonder how many people over the years will have come to The King’s Head for their Christmas lunch or an after dinner tipple. The place has so much character, and we are really proud of how old it is and how popular it still is within the community. We hope to see some of our treasured regulars celebrate with us again this year.”


The team here at The King’s Head like to think that many of our traditions are kept as the years go on, but understand that people must make their own traditions. The King’s Head like to keep things simple but exciting and this year, our Christmas Day menu features dishes such as ‘Roast goose breast with a braised goose leg sausage roll in butter puff pastry, crispy kale & cranberry relish’ and slow roast lamb shoulder with Christmas pudding stuffing, braised potatoes, sticky carrots & port jus’ served with all of the trimmings.


If you would like to make Christmas Dinner at The King’s Head your new tradition, get in touch with their reservations team on 0121 277 4130 or


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