|Portrait of baby Edward, given|
by Hans Holbein to Henry VIII
Some gifts had special meanings. For example, Elizabeth I received a jeweled whip from Sir Philip Sidney as an apology for suggesting she not marry. It represented his submission to her will.
|Silk stockings belonging |
to Elizabeth I
Even humble subjects gave their monarch gifts. Probably one of Henry VIII's favorite gifts was a portrait of his son, Edward, by Hans Holbein. One year, Elizabeth received a pair of cambric sleeves from a school master.
The monarch was not the only one to receive gifts during the Christmas season. Peasants in Tudor times would give gifts too, though not as rich as at the royal court. Gifts of fruit (such as oranges, which were quite rare), nuts, and possibly a new piece of clothing or a handmade toy or two were common. Though we now give gifts on Christmas rather than New Years, we can easily imagine the excitement of Tudor Children on New Years day as they received gifts.
I must admit I am sad to finish my Twelve Days of Tudor Christmas. I hope all my readers have enjoyed it and have a very Happy Christmas!