As the song goes, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s all about shimmering lights, festive tinsel, cookies, and gingerbread. All of the above weave together a cozy picture of today’s Christmas celebration. But how did this all start and, most importantly, when?
Victorians are responsible for the modern-day Christmas. Let’s find out how Christmas looked back in the day.
What are some Victorian Christmas traditions?
When it comes to Christmas, most of our traditions go back to the Victorian Era. Nothing would be the same if it wasn’t for them. From Christmas cards to decorated trees and stockings hanging by the chimney, many of our best-known Christmas customs are the results of that period of time.
Christmas was celebrated way before Queen Victoria came into power. However, it was Prince Albert, her German husband, who inspired people to get a Christmas Tree after The Royal Family decorated one to make the prince feel more like home.
Another change produced in those times was related to gift-giving. Usually, this practice was done at The New Year. But as Christmas grew in popularity, people started offering small presents on Christmas Eve.
What did the Victorians eat at Christmas?
The food was served after the members of the family had attended the service. They would decorate the dining table with flowers and evergreens. The Christmas meal was the main character of the day as there was enough food and people would get the chance to stay together and tell stories.
For the aristocrats, the meals were bountiful. They would have on their tables a generous amount of refined dishes, including turkey, several types of pies and puddings, beef and oyster.
As for the poorer households, the chances for them to have chicken, for example, at dinner were very low. But the people will make it do with rabbit game instead, and later Middle-Class family would serve turkey, as it had the perfect size to feed to the whole family.
How did Victorians decorate their homes for Christmas?
First thing first, I must say they put so much effort into it. Everything became more elaborated and they paid more attention to details. However, they continued bedecking with evergreens but placing the twigs and sprigs more symmetrical. If you were better to do, you could get your inspiration from magazines, as they were giving instructions on how to step up your game.
Why was Christmas important to Victorians?
The Victorians tried to give another significance to Christmas. They made it family-oriented. Many workers would come home for the holidays, as in those times The Industrial Revolution caused people to move into the big cities. All their customs were done to gather the family around. People would cook and decorate their homes, would play games, and do what they could to spend more time together.
This is how the Christmas spirit got born and, even nowadays, continues to be appreciated and celebrated in a great manner, praising Jesus Christ’s birth.