A Vic­to­rian Christ­mas

Victorian Homes - - Sources - By SUSIE KEAR­LEY

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!

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