Trimming the Christmas tree is a favorite tradition in my family. Every year, I relish the chance to reflect on cherished memories triggered by ornaments that have a sentimental place in my heart and add to my ornament collection with new and beautiful acquisitions that will someday become treasured favorites. I can’t imagine Christmas without a beautiful tree. Without the influence of the Victorians, decorated Christmas trees as well as many other holiday favorites might never have become beloved traditions.
Victorian Christmas traditions were centered around the family. Of these enduring celebrations, perhaps the most beloved is the Christmas tree. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, brought the custom of a decorated Christmas tree from his German homeland. Not long after his marriage to Victoria, Prince Albert had the first Christmas tree displayed in Windsor Castle in 1841. Several years later, the Illustrated London News published a drawing of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children celebrating the holiday with a Christmas tree, and soon thereafter, families throughout England boasted a decorated tree during the Christmas season.
Many other popular Christmas traditions became popular during Victoria’s reign. Some of these include:
* Christmas Cards ~ the combination of the halfpenny postage rate, which allowed a letter or card to be mailed throughout England inexpensively, and the advances in affordable color printing technology brought Christmas cards to popularity. By 1880, more than eleven million cards were produced each year.
* Exchanging Christmas Presents ~ The giving of small gifts at New Year’s shifted to become a central part of the Victorian holiday tradition. Gifts were given and placed under the tree in anticipation of the holiday.
* Christmas Carols ~ Yet another Victorian tradition, the singing of favorite holiday songs (which were at the time new and popular hits) to mark the holiday season emerged during this era, as did the custom of traveling in groups from house to house to joyously sing Christmas carols.
* Christmas Vacation ~ During the Victorian era, middle class families began the tradition of taking time off from work to spend with their families.
* Mistletoe ~ Who can resist a kiss beneath the mistletoe? This girl certainly can’t! What a lovely holiday tradition!
These are just a few of the more popular Victorian holiday traditions that continue to endure today. In the spirit of gift giving, I’ll be giving away a Kindle copy of Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies to one commenter each day. Simply leave a comment about your favorite holiday traditions for a chance to win. I’ll announce a winner for each day, December 13 – 20.
Make sure you stop by the Mistletoe Madness contest page to enter to win the Grand Prize, including a Best Buy gift certificate. Follow the link to enter:
MISTLETOE MADNESS GRAND PRIZE CONTEST PAGE
Be sure to check out the fabulous authors participating in this blog hop:
Visit the Mistletoe Madness Blog hop 2013 main page to enter to win the Grand Prize! Click Here
Merry Christmas! May you have a wonderful holiday season!
21 thoughts on “Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop – The Joys of a Victorian Christmas”
My favorite Christmas tradition is the morning after breakfast my mother hosts. So many of our family is obligated elsewhere on Christmas that it is nice to be able to see everyone the morning after!
Jill, what a lovely Christmas tradition. Terrific idea!
You’re the winner of a kindle copy of Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies (Dec. 13th giveaway). Please provide your email address so I can send your gift to you. Thanks for stopping by!
We have water fights to cool down before dinner. I love it.
Water fights? How unique! Where I live, we could have snowball fights 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
My favorite tradition is baking cookies with my mom.
I love baking cookies…what a sweet tradition!
You’re the winner of a kindle copy of Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies (Dec. 14th giveaway). Please provide your email address so I can send your gift to you. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh my goodness! Thanks so much. My email is thebookmaven623 at gmail dot com
Thanks! I’ll send your book this afternoon. Hope you enjoy it! I’d love to know what you think 🙂
My fave tradition is making is paczki (Polish donuts) that we only make twice a year (on Christmas and Fat Thursday).
Happy Holidays and thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com
That sounds like a lovely and delicious, tradition, Elizabeth! I’d love to taste those.
BookAttict, you’re the winner of the December 15 book giveaway. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ll send your book through Amazon later today. 🙂
I don’t have a chance to do Christmas these days but it use to be going and bricking the tree out on Thanksgiving weekend at the tree farm. I have such fond memories about that. We would wait to pick it up till the week before Christmas though. Happy Holidays!
I love all holiday traditions because they make the season special in their own way. Wishing everyone a wonderful and magical holiday season! evamillien at gmail dot com
You’re the winner of the drawing for December 18. Congratulations! I will contact you later today regarding your gift book.
My favorite tradition is going to an early Christmas Eve service and then coming home for a family dinner. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
decorating the tree together
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
You’re the winner of the drawing for December 19. Congratulations! I will contact you later today regarding your gift book.
I love decorating the gingerbread house with my family. Always so many laughs
not your typical tradition but wrapping those last minute gifts on Christmas Eve usually ends up happening but is always seems special! Happy Holidays! *<}:-)
You’re the winner of the drawing for December 18. Congratulations! Please contact me either through a reply, a FB message, or an email to AuthorTaraKingston@gmail.com 🙂
Hi! I love decorating the tree with my family! Its so fun! 🙂 Thanks for being apart of this great hop! Im having a blast! Thank you! Happy holidays!