A Victorian Christmas
Pagans traditionally adorned their houses with evergreens, such as mistletoe, holly and ivy, which were believed to protect the household from evil spirits, and to encourage the return of warmer weather and spring.
However, the Victorians influenced the way we celebrate Christmas like no other era in history. Before Queen Victoria came to the throne, the concepts of Father Christmas, Christmas cards and Christmas crackers hadn’t been invented. Most people worked through Christmas and the New Year.
The industrial revolution made people wealthier, and Charles Dickens’ Achristmascarol, published in 1843, inspired some wealthy Victorians to give money or gifts to the poor.
The growing wealth of middle class families meant they could afford to take a few days off work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to enjoy a proper family Christmas. And the tradition of giving gifts became increasingly popular, until eventually everyone was giving gifts to their family and friends!