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Advent Calendar Day 7: Christmas and Children

Children and family matters around the holidays seem to be present throughout the Genome listings. We wonder what the one-line-long 1929 listing "Parents and Children: 'The Problem of Christmas'" discussed; in 1937, a radio talk about how the family home was "becoming more and more the place where people slept and sometimes ate" was deemed as "the most appropriate for Christmas."

In 1965 it was the children's turn as they told interviewers what they really wanted for Christmas. What kind of toys do children really like? Asked the Choice programme, on a crusade to end the wastage of "thousands of pounds" on toys that children hardly ever played with.

A still from What They Really Want for Christmas

Two years later, the children were asked again about their views on Christmas: "What do they think of it, what do they enjoy most about it? How do they regard their parents, relations, and adult friends?" In 1976 a radio programme wondered if the children of the 70s "still looked forward" to Christmas as their parents did, and if "the pleasures of anticipation" were still the same.

And, fast-forward 2004, parenting guru Tanya Byron tested her methods by inviting  16 of the children and families she helped on the Little Angels programme to a Christmas party: would it be mayhem? Would all run smoothly?

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