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Christmas coping confessions

Today programme is guest edited by Mass Observation this morning.

Juliet Gardener, the historian, Simon Garfield, the author and trustee of the Mass Observation archive, and Dr Lucy Robinson, a lecturer in history at Sussex university and is one of the leaders of a project called Observing the 1980s discussed the contribution that Mass Observation has made to people's lives.

Mr Garfield told Today programmes presenter Justin Webb that war time Christmas presents included "rinso and lard" .

"These were the iPads of the day," he added.

Dr Robinson explained that Christmas was about family during the Second World War: "The family at Christmas become a bit of a metaphor for the war... there wasn't much commercialism."

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