Posts Tagged ‘19th century christmas’

In 1841 the first Christmas tree was introduced to the royal family by Prince Albert, German husband of Queen Victoria. In 1850 a tinted etching of a decorated tree at Windsor Castle was published and the Tannenbaum became a necessity for every fashionable Victorian home. It was a tradition quickly embraced by Victorian England. Live trees were set up for the Christmas season decorated with lighted candles, draped with tinsel, ribbon, paper chains, cookies and candies.
Although the Victorian idea of Christmas was not commercial, having more to do with food, and the exchange of handmade gifts, New York soon saw the commercial advantages of a holiday full of the exchange of gifts. By the 1880’s Macy’s department store’s windows were filled with wonderful dolls and toys from Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland. Another window boasted scenes with steam driven moveable parts.

With the growing popularity of Christmas trees manufacturers began producing ornaments around 1870. Also popular were molded wax figures of angels and children. Many ornaments were made of cotton-wool wrapped around an armature of metal or wood and trimmed with embossed paper faces, buttons, gold paper wings and “diamond dust”, actually powdered glass.
‘After the Civil War, in the 1880’s and 1890’s, Christmas started to become commercialized through the growth of department stores and illustrated magazines,
Source & more info

Tips to decorate a Christmas tree in Victorian style.

New York Times article on shops that get their inspiration from Victorian times.

Some tips on decorating in authentic Victorian style.

To read about an actual Victorian Christmas party, I would suggest the book Little Women by Louisa Alcott, which shows a typical Christmas party. You can read it online here

And some more Victorian recipes: (I’m sure there are even more out there)



This post is part of a series on cooking! Follow the links to see the other posts:
Upperclass dinner
Victorian cooking
Victorian kitchens
Links to recipes & etiquette

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