Christmas Greetings from Katie Sweep

Along with the age old tradition of a glass of sherry and a mince pie or two on the hearth with of course a carrot for the reindeer, and stockings hung on the mantelpiece, for many people it is also tradition to have their chimneys swept as part of the preparation for their Christmas day celebrations.

Katie Sweep

With Christmas day fast approaching and the cold weather setting in we are, as you might expect all ever so busy Sweeping. It seems that pre-Christmas is the time chimney sweeping jumps to mind for many, becoming a top priority in order that they are ready to have a glowing fire over the festive season. For some the only time they will use their fires through the year, as a novelty…unlike many others who wouldn’t dream of having their chimneys swept at this time of year due to the fires being constantly lit and are quite shocked that we are even busy in the colder seasons.

Children are always fascinated with a visit from us chimney sweeps, and for me it is just one of many highlights of our work. I always explain to the eager young spectators how I am sweeping all the soot from the chimney and making sure it is all clean for when Father Christmas visits them on Christmas eve, making sure he can get down the chimney and will not get covered in soot as in the well-known children’s Christmas song.

When Santa got stuck up the chimney,Festive Chimney Sweeping
He began to shout,
You girls and boys,
Won't get any toys,
If you don't pull me out.
There's soot on my back,
And my beard is all black,
My nose is tickling too!
When Santa got stuck up the chimney,
Achoo, Achoo, Achoo.

More on Fireplace Folklore, Culture and Poems

As part of the children’s chimney sweeping experience, when the brush is getting close to the top of the chimney (when possible, i.e. if no cowling or loose bird guards are present) I send them to the garden to make a wish as they see the brush spring out and through the chimney pot, a magical moment for both children and adults alike.

Christmas has long been associated with chimneys and them being the chosen entrance to the home for Father Christmas who comes bearing gifts for well-behaved girls and boys. It is believed to date back as far as pre Christian times to Norse tradition, with Odin descending down through smoke holes to mark the beginning of the winter solstice. There are many other similar tales from early European folk law which have no doubt over time developed in to our well known and loved modern day Father Christmas, Santa Clause and Saint Nicolas we all know today.

Not to worry for those families who do not have a chimney in the home as there are always other ways …there are now on sale key shaped signs saying ‘Dear Santa, we don’t have a chimney, please use this key’ With warm wishes for the festive season from all of the Katie Sweep team.

 

Read more from Katie Sweeps Diary https://www.fireplace.co.uk/chimney-sweep-diarist/59

 

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