This broadside offers a clue as to the nature of domestic Christmas celebrations in this period. Christmas Gambols, and Twelfth Night’s Amusements is a mix of seasonal songs, illustrations of characters and games (such as blind man’s buff), and historical nuggets. It was evidently aimed at the middle classes, especially with the relatively expensive price of two pence. Broadsides were large-format single-sheet publications, hurriedly and cheaply printed, and sold on the streets usually for a penny or halfpenny.
Christmas Gambols was produced in 1823 by one of the most successful mass-market publishers, James Catnach (1792–1841) of Seven Dials, London, who became wealthy using only his father’s old wooden presses in the family home.