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From Christmas Lord of Misrule to Modern Day Santa Claus, Ernie Boxall
Episode 15524th December 2021 • Your Positive Imprint • Catherine Praiswater
00:00:00 00:20:15

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Tudor World is a 16th Century living history museum located in the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Ernie Boxall, AKA Santa Claus, shares the Lord of Misrule of the past, to the modern day Santa Claus. The Abbot of Unreason, or Lord of Misrule, arranged Christmas joy, presents but also drunkenness and wild parties. Today, Santa Claus brings joy around the world with his smile, laughter, and presents.



Transcripts

Intro:

Hello, this is Catherine.

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Your host of the podcast, your positive imprint, the variety show, featuring people all over the world whose positive actions are inspiring

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positive achievements.

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Exceptional people rise to the challenge.

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Music by the talented Chris Nole.

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check out his music and learn so much more about his pretty much awesome background, ChrisNole.com.

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Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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And my website

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yourpositiveimprint.com where of course you can sign up for email updates to learn more about the podcast, as well as listen to the podcast.

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Or of course listen from any podcast platform, apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify.

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Or just your favorite podcast platform.

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Your positive imprint.

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What'sYour P.I.?.

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Merry Christmas, everybody Feliz Navida, Glad Jul everybody.

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And happy holidays happy .December however you celebrate it.

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And I'm so glad you're here with your positive imprint.

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Well, there's a quick change on the schedule and I don't know where my time has gone, but my days are so off-kilter.

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I've not even gotten my Christmas cards out yet.

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Oh my gosh.

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So I think that they're actually going to be new year's cards for this year.

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Well, somehow I just lost track of time and I apologize.

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And as a result, my podcast schedule is off kilter as well.

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So today's episode, I will close out the year 2021 with Santa Claus from England.

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And I will return with Marine biologist, Terry Lilley, who will be starting out the 20, 22 year with his positive imprints on reptiles

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and of course his work under the sea.

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Join me January 10th, as I continue bringing you, through this variety show the world of positive imprints.

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And I want to give a thank you a big, huge, thank you to Chris Nole for composing "elevated 'intentions" for the show

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and for giving me permission to use his music, his other music as background music during other episodes,

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I appreciate Chris and I so love his compositions.

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Well, Merry Christmas, Chris.

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And again, Merry Christmas to you.

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And remember, January 10th is when I will return after today's episode, your positive imprint, what's your P.I.?

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Tutor world is a 16th century living history museum located in the town of Stratford-upon-Evan, England.

Intro:

Today we learn from our guest of how Christmas joy was brought to the people during the times of William Shakespeare, Francis Drake, Elizabeth, the I, Henry the VIII,,

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and really everyday people.

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This is a Christmas past, and of course, a message from Santa AKA.

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Ernie Boxell.

Catherine:

Welcome Catherine.

Catherine:

And thank you for the opportunity to spread a message around the world with lots of ho, ho ho, lots of joy and a few messages, which I hope will let people think a little bit about the Christmas period.

Ernie Boxall:

I now I'm living alone.

Ernie Boxall:

Single man.

Ernie Boxall:

Daughters have grown up.

Ernie Boxall:

So Christmas lost a lot of it's magic.

Ernie Boxall:

Uh, I would say at least 20 years ago, when my daughters reached the age of 10 and then about two years ago, one year pre the virus, a local park was advertising for 10 Santas.

Ernie Boxall:

Because it was an adventure park where about a thousand families visited a day.

Ernie Boxall:

I was chosen as one of the santas.

Ernie Boxall:

And from what I've been told the adventure center quite liked my attitude, not just as Santa but to helping them with their chores after the event had finished.

Ernie Boxall:

So I was all set to be the Santa to the following year, which was 2020 when cOVID closed everything down.

Ernie Boxall:

And I thought that that would be the end of my Santas until Zoom came along and always asked to do some zoom presentations going into people's homes and talking to the children.

Ernie Boxall:

And then this year, a friend of mine who is a theater producer put me in touch with a group called the children's play village.

Ernie Boxall:

And Santa there actually does three, two and a half hour shows per day where it's not just sitting the child on the knee; we go through a script and actually perform a two and

Ernie Boxall:

Otto has been sent to the North Pole by Santa to clear up a blizzard, which is stopping the elves, getting the toys

Ernie Boxall:

to the sleigh.

Ernie Boxall:

And the two and a half hour performance is all about bringing Otto back to the princess.

Ernie Boxall:

So we do dances.

Ernie Boxall:

We sing "Jingle Bells", rocking Robin.

Ernie Boxall:

We get the children to make decorations, to place on the tree.

Ernie Boxall:

And it's all interactive in a village setting within a hall where the people have built a little post office, a little hospital, a little vet shop, a little fruit and veg shop.

Ernie Boxall:

And so for two and a half hours, we interact with the children.

Ernie Boxall:

And I have to say that that brought back the magic of Christmas within the faces of the children, but it also taught me some lessons.

Ernie Boxall:

And this is perhaps the darker side of modern Christmas, because particularly the men folk brought their children in.

Ernie Boxall:

Walked around the village with them once went back to the table and started to answer their phones or complete business while the children and the mothers were walking

Ernie Boxall:

with the child.

Ernie Boxall:

But for me, as I entered the stage to see the children's faces and also to have to deal with the one or two year old crying and being afraid of Santa.

Ernie Boxall:

it was.

Ernie Boxall:

Invigorating.

Ernie Boxall:

It was a challenge, but being a performer, that's what it's all about.

Ernie Boxall:

Isn't it.

Ernie Boxall:

The young children were very often want to come up and hug Santa.

Ernie Boxall:

We had to make sure that their parents were there, which is sad.

Ernie Boxall:

Isn't it?

Ernie Boxall:

But sometimes on a couple of occasions what happened, couldn't be helped.

Ernie Boxall:

The child will come from behind me, come in front of me and just hug.

Ernie Boxall:

And they were some of the great moments when the child did it spontaneously.

Ernie Boxall:

But it just showed that Christmas still has that magic.

Ernie Boxall:

What you see me wearing now at the moment I am Santa at a venue called "Tudor World", which is an actual 15th century house in Stratford-Upon-Avon, where between 15 50, or 1560, and maybe 15.

Ernie Boxall:

Ah, 1590 Shakespeare drank.

Ernie Boxall:

So this is the actual Three Torrance Tavern where Shakespeare came to drink.

Ernie Boxall:

And as a Tudor Santa, I am wearing the Laurel a pagan Santa because originally Santa in England was decked out in green, mistletoe and other greenery for celebrating the earth and also,

Ernie Boxall:

Catherine.

Catherine:

Of course it is Santa, Ernie.

Ernie Boxall:

To say that in that Tudor period, Carol singing began.

Ernie Boxall:

Presents started to be given.

Ernie Boxall:

And in fact, Henry the VIII was known to give out around about the equivalent of 30,000 pounds worth of pressents.

Ernie Boxall:

Mulled wine began, mince pies and Turkey towards the end of the period.

Ernie Boxall:

So a lot of the things that we do now actually began in and around the time of, Henry the VIII, the Tudor period.

Ernie Boxall:

There was no partying until Christmas Eve.

Ernie Boxall:

In fact, what they had was 40 days of advent, which was, and within the Christian tradition.

Ernie Boxall:

The feasting began on Christmas Day and it lasted for 12 days, the 12 days of Christmas.

Ernie Boxall:

And within those 12 days, people did not work.

Ernie Boxall:

It was solely for celebration of it says the 12 disciples a day for each disciple.

Ernie Boxall:

Decorations were simply a ball of evergreen, mistletoe and apples, which were hung from rafters as almost the only decoration within the cottage, the hut, the palace,

Ernie Boxall:

It was his job to bring joy and laughter into the palace, into the location.

Ernie Boxall:

And that Lord of Misrule was allowed to take or to make fun of the king.

Ernie Boxall:

Now, how often he did that we don't know, but certainly, there are records of the Lord of Misrule asking the king for money, which obviously every other day of the year, he would probably lose his head for doing.

Ernie Boxall:

Mince pies, contained 13 ingredients, including some meats.

Ernie Boxall:

Each ingredient was for Jesus and the 12 disciples.

Ernie Boxall:

So the mince pies, then were not only very much bigger, but the ingredients were, were a lot different than they are today.

Ernie Boxall:

The boy bishops.

Ernie Boxall:

So these would have perhaps been young boys who were training.

Ernie Boxall:

During this period they were allowed to become bishops and to

Ernie Boxall:

give orders within the church.

Ernie Boxall:

So it was very much changing roles where the children became the authority within the house.

Ernie Boxall:

And I think maybe that's becoming the role again, from what I've seen children very much rule the roost.

Ernie Boxall:

Children were also whipped to remind them that Herod and this, this I, from what I understand, it was children under two were whipped to remind them that Herod killed every two year old looking for Jesus.

Ernie Boxall:

Now how hard the whipping was I have no idea, but it was to instill within the children, the story of Herod killing the two year olds, and finally comes to

Ernie Boxall:

And that was towards the end of the Tudor period.

Ernie Boxall:

And so that really is the story of how the pagan Santa, became the Coca-Cola Santa dressed in red and obviously becoming a lot more commercial, which

Ernie Boxall:

Until I saw them making out of straws, making candy canes, and hanging them on the tree and having more joy from that candy cane than some of the presents they were given on the day by their parents.

Ernie Boxall:

They played with boxes.

Ernie Boxall:

They played in the vet's store.

Ernie Boxall:

They played with little animals, little cuddly toys.

Ernie Boxall:

Now, when Santa asked them what they wanted, it was mobile phones.

Ernie Boxall:

It was, is it PS4?

Ernie Boxall:

It was big car.

Ernie Boxall:

But for that two and a half hours, they were content with boxes, cardboard boxes, stuffed animals, artificial fruit, and veg.

Ernie Boxall:

But the big thing that drew them in was to have a photo with Santa.

Ernie Boxall:

Particularly in the sleigh.

Ernie Boxall:

And we ended always with the reading of The Night Before Christmas with all the children sat around the sleigh, their parents with them.

Ernie Boxall:

And then finally, as they left, myself and princess Pearl delivered a present to each of them.

Ernie Boxall:

Almost without exception they said thank you.

Ernie Boxall:

Which again, gives you some hope for the future.

Ernie Boxall:

Now, whether or not on the darker side

Ernie Boxall:

lockdowns coming again with the virus, because what I did see was there were certainly far more children afraid of strangers, afraid of a strange man than I'd noticed two years ago, even older children.

Ernie Boxall:

And you must have seen it yourself, where the parents are pulling their children away from strangers.

Ernie Boxall:

So that I think is going to be a problem, perhaps not just for Christmas, but for the future.

Ernie Boxall:

But I did notice that when I do tell stories, the parents are often more engaged than the children.

Ernie Boxall:

Because the children, I think have become far more used maybe to watching YouTube and television, rather than listening to a story from a book, which again is something I hope to try improve.

Ernie Boxall:

So that's basically Christmas for me here in England.

Ernie Boxall:

I just say, I think that the fact that our history obviously goes back to pagan times.

Ernie Boxall:

I have noticed that a lot of the 14, 15 year old children are becoming more interested in the pagan idea of Christmas and also where I work The Tudor House at night we do a ghost tour around the

Ernie Boxall:

again is different to when I was their age.

Ernie Boxall:

So in England it may be that Christianity for the young is less important now than it might be in America.

Ernie Boxall:

I love America.

Ernie Boxall:

Um, my life, I think, has been shaped by going to America or connecting with an American girl in 1964.

Ernie Boxall:

And I think my life has been shaped by that first meeting.

Ernie Boxall:

So I love America.

Ernie Boxall:

I spend a lot of time learning about what's going on in America.

Ernie Boxall:

I do notice that the belief in Jesus Christ is much stronger in America than it is in England.

Ernie Boxall:

Why that is?

Ernie Boxall:

I don't know.

Ernie Boxall:

The people going to church is much lower now than it probably was in my 70 years.

Ernie Boxall:

These are obviously Catherine, my observations.

Ernie Boxall:

The looks on the children's faces is far outweighed any of the negatives, even children who are over the road from me on the other side of the street stop and their look of fascination and their way

Ernie Boxall:

is it's without thought.

Ernie Boxall:

Spur of the moment.

Ernie Boxall:

There's Santa.

Ernie Boxall:

Hello Santa and the joy and the excitement in their faces makes it all worthwhile.

Catherine:

So Ernie around the world, Santa Claus has different names, different outfits, different past, yes.

Catherine:

There are many countries that have Santa Claus.

Catherine:

Santa literally means saint or holy.

Ernie Boxall:

Interestingly, I work with some Polish ladies who are elves.

Ernie Boxall:

They tell me that they start to celebrate Christmas on December the sixth, which is Saint Nicholas Day.

Ernie Boxall:

There we go.

Ernie Boxall:

I didn't know.

Ernie Boxall:

That was again, working in this environment is something else that I've learned through being this character, this Santa.

Catherine:

Christmas, as you said in the beginning, that you hope that Christmas continues to bring joy to people around the world.

Catherine:

Yes.

Catherine:

Yet for you Christmas didn't have that meaning for 20 years and now you're re-discovering that message of hope and that message of joy.

Catherine:

So what inspirational phrase or what inspiration can you provide to people who are going through that same thing that you were 20 years ago?

Ernie Boxall:

The message is be children for just a small period of the year, become children again.

Ernie Boxall:

Have a smile on your face as you pass Santa, say Merry Christmas, Santa.

Ernie Boxall:

Smile for the children.

Ernie Boxall:

Be there for the children.

Ernie Boxall:

Forget work for a couple of hours.

Ernie Boxall:

It really is around the adults.

Ernie Boxall:

The children are fine.

Ernie Boxall:

The adults have lost that spark.

Ernie Boxall:

My message was become children again, just for a couple of hours.

Ernie Boxall:

Even if it's just that one day, spend it with the kids, spend it with your friends and laugh.

Ernie Boxall:

Don't necessarily need alcohol to do it.

Ernie Boxall:

I

Catherine:

Certainly hope that your hope of Santa bringing.

Catherine:

Positivity and hope around the world will certainly,

Ernie Boxall:

I hope so.

Catherine:

We will be featuring Ernie Boxell in 2022 with his positive imprints.

Ernie Boxall:

Thank you for the opportunity.

Catherine:

Thank you, Ernie.

Catherine:

Boxell and Merry Christmas, Santa Claus much to all of your listeners Catherine, and especially to you for the opportunity.

Catherine:

Oh, thank you.

Catherine:

Ernie is the host of the podcast.

Catherine:

"No story stagnates."

Catherine:

His show features stories of the past.

Catherine:

memories really.

Catherine:

Merry Christmas to you.

Catherine:

Happy holidays.

Catherine:

Happy winter solstice.

Catherine:

And a happy new year.

Catherine:

And cheers to a new beginning in 2022.

Catherine:

Please remember to click the follow download or subscribe button now your positive imprint.

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