I hope you all are conviving with your friends, family, and/or loved ones. Now that you all have gift certificates and some cash on hand, it’s a good time to reward yourself with a little Shakespeare! Check out the links I’ve given you and buy a good book or movie. :-p
Through all my searching, I have found that Mr. Shakespeare only uses the word “Christmas” in any of his plays a mere three times. Not too surprising, I suppose, since none of his plays seem to take place around this time of year. It didn’t make for good action. Here are the uses of the word:
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
-Love’s Labours Lost (I.i)
I see the trick on’t: here was a consent,
Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
To dash it like a Christmas comedy:
Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
-Love’s Labours Lost (V.ii)
Marry, I will; let them play it. Is not a comonty a Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
-The Taming of the Shrew (Intro, scene ii)
So it wasn’t Shakespeare’s favorite time of year. That’s okay! Maybe he was turned off to it by the immense commercialism of the season. Those last two quotes refer to Christmas theatrical events: pageants put on for townspeople perhaps by churches, and might not have included the best actors and writing which might be why Will didn’t like them so much. Shakespeare doesn’t refer to this Christmas event in a positive tone. The Taming of the Shrew Scene continues as such:
SLY. Marry, I will; let them play it. Is not a comonty a
Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
PAGE. No, my good lord, it is more pleasing stuff.