Christmas at Hatfield, 1548

“We kept Christmas at Hatfield that year instead of going to court . . . I sent my gentlemen and yeomen out into the woods to collect red holly-berry branches and evergreens to decorate the place, chestnuts to roast. They went gladly. Then, just as gladly, my knights helped me decorate. After that they went hunting with Roger Ascham for the Yuletide dinner. I put cloth of gold and velvet ribbons on everything, from newel posts to clocks.

We prepared a Yuletide feast that would do my father proud.

My yeomen cut a Yule log and some applewood, and soon the fragrances of applewood, evergreen, and chestnuts permeated the whole house.”

The Red-Headed Princess by Ann Rinaldi.

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