How To Be A Goth at Christmas (oh yes, we do love Christmas!)

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For any years, Christmases at home were dull affairs. As a Goth teenager, actually all I wanted to do was sit in my bedroom and play records. I couldn’t sit at the phone and call my Goth friends because the only phone in the house sat at a telephone table in the front room and the world and his wife were in there. Everyone would be able to hear you sharing your teenage angst, finding rather funny no doubt. Yuk.

Christmas and the elder Goth

As I got older and had my own Christmases and older still and have my own children, I figured out that if my son wanted to sit in his bedroom and eat nothing but curry for Christmas dinner, then that was fine by me. Of course these days, he can chat all day long to a mate in Denmark over the net and I don’t have to worry about a massive phone bill!

So, as an elder Goth, what does Christmas mean to me now? It’s a questions I have often pondered over. I guess my ideal Christmas would be nestled in a Welsh cottage half way up a mountain surrounded by howling winds and snow drifts with nothing but a large roaring open fire and a first edition collection of Victorian Christmas ghost stories and a candle to read them by. I would sit in my black finery with a ruff at my neck and ease myself back into the corners of my leather wing backed chair and with my wolf at my side, read Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe until the morning light against the backdrop of the whistling wind and owl hoots in the forest near by.

Gothic Christmases in the 21st Century

So, what’s the reality? Well, I might get a turn at the family turn table so I can whack on a couple of Clannad records but Nine Inch Nails would be out of the question – even their slightly commercial concept album would be considered too racy for the rest of the normals to bear. So, I would have my Dickensian Christmas inside my head and ignore the fact I can hear Paul McCartney on every channel and wish for my idyllic Christmas for the following year…

What about Gothic Christmases now?

So, do I have any advice for Goths for Christmas? Yes, I think I do. When you are a teenager, I guess you have to play along with whatever the rest of the world wants you to do. There’s nothing truly around that These days, one can talk to one’s friends anywhere any time, so things have certainly changed, possibly for the better. I would have loved to have had something like Pinterest in my hand so I could spend hours gazing at darkly Gothic frocks, black heels and accessories and dress myself up like something from a Bronte novel in my head. I think what I am trying to say is, is that Christmas can be anything you want it to be.

For me, it was always about the Winter Solstice. The closing of one season and the start of another. I would have loved to have decked my house in black tinsel, glowing candles and ghost stories.

I think there is much more you can do these days within the realms of creativity. Long gone at the days of running through heaps of black eye liner around your room for a Gothic feel.

Many you have a beautifully dark Goth Christmas and a gracefully peaceful New Year.

 

BB x

 

 

 

Goth images I love on Pinterest…

Gothic reath

Gothic snowflakes

Gothic tree decorations

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Goth History Part 2 – The Lost Goth Shop Years

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Nothing is new.

Delving into the depths of History (I have become a fan of all things Medieval) you can see that Goth, for example, was always waiting to happen. We certainly didn’t have to wait for the Victorians to come along and spice it all up for us, although I will admit, Mary Shelley did help…

 

Grace with poise for the darlings

There have been many such groupings in modern times, such as the rockers in 1950s America or the punks in the UK in the 1970s. One very distinctive group is the goths, which developed from the punk subculture. But where punk had been a mix of how to get dressed in the dark, pissed, Goth brought with it an element of grace and decadence. It was glamour with a hint of TB about it. We could be intellectual and poetic. We could swoon over Vampire novels and listen to dark B sides of Bauhaus without coming over all necessary. This was Goth. It was to the world of fashion and music what Shakespeare was to the Elizabethans. Sheer deep and endlessly brilliant.

Then came lots of brown…

Generalisations are often dangerous, especially when describing a group such as goths where members have a strong desire to express themselves individually. It was no wonder that Steampunk (when Goth discovered brown) grew out of it giving a home to many elder goths who felt that wearing too much black over a certain age might be too horrifying to small children. Personally, I did agree with this on principle but only to a point. I soon went back to complete out and out Goth again after a couple of weak months of being Steampunk. To me, brown was no substitute where black had been such a loyal friend.

 

Black is black

The color black is extremely common in goth style – there is no argument about it. It can be represented in clothing, dyed hair, and black make-up including painted finger nails.(I must admit, I went the other way and had white blonde hair in a Louise Brooks page-boy hair cut. I went for the black nails but never got on with the black lipstick – yuk!)

It should be noted that this applies to both males and females. There is no one particular reason why black but I had always imagined it was something to do with the years of mourning with Queen Victoria bestowed upon after the death of Prince Albert. That might be the ‘lighter’ way of looking at it though.

Some of argued that it represents a certain morbidity inherent in the culture. For others it is simply that they like the way it looks. Yet there is something about black that is luxurious and classy. Goths look to me, beautiful, thoughtful and polite creatures. At least, I have always discovered this myself. Never nasty (rarely) always caring and on the whole, cheerful. It always annoyed me how society considered goths as depressed and morbid – I often feel my most cheerful when I am decked in my black!

 

The fall of the goth shop

The only thing that saddens me, as a goth of the 80’s and beyond was the decrease in goth shops and places to hang out. During its era, the Batcave was out-of-bounds to me (on many levels, but geographically, it was challenging.) I loved hanging out looking deathly around the stream of goth shops in Carnaby Street in London around the early to mid 80’s. They have since been replaced with up market boutiques for the masses of tourists who come to our city and want what they can get back home – lots of pastels and labels and not an ounce of black creativity in sight…

 

Best Goth clothing shop online (well, possibly…)

One of my favourite places is Kate’s Clothing )and no, I’m not an affiliate.) It’s difficult to find clothing (as possibly like you, I would much rather drift around a physical shop!) which is not going to be overly expensive, but Kate’s in the UK appears to do the job just fine.

If you know of anywhere either on or off-line for Goth clothing, especially in the UK, I would love to hear about it. If you are in the U.S, leave your expert knowledge too for other readers…. 😉

Peace and darkness

BB x

 

More darkness in your life? Read my next post here….