Kamis, 22 Desember 2011

Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author and my good friend, Tara Kingston! (Okay, and I must plug this! Tara and I have an anthology releasing in print together on January 9th! PIRATE'S PAST has her tale, Claimed by the Captain and my tale, A Pirate's Bounty!) Today Tara's giving us a taste of Christmas during the Victorian era. Leave a comment for your chance to win an ecopy of CLAIMED BY THE CAPTAIN! Happy Holidays!

TheJoys of a Victorian Christmas


Trimming the Christmastree is a favorite tradition in my family. Every year, I relish the chance toreflect on cherished memories triggered by ornaments that have a sentimentalplace in my heart and add to my ornament collection with new and beautiful acquisitionsthat will someday become treasured favorites. I can’t imagine Christmas withouta beautiful tree. Without the influence of the Victorians, decorated Christmastrees as well as many other holiday favorites might never have become beloved traditions.

Victorian Christmastraditions were centered around the family. Of these enduring celebrations,perhaps the most beloved is the Christmas tree. Queen Victoria’s husband, PrinceAlbert,  brought the custom of adecorated Christmas tree from his German homeland. Not long after his marriageto Victoria, Prince Albert had the first Christmas tree displayed in WindsorCastle in 1841. Several years later, the IllustratedLondon News published a drawing of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and theirchildren celebrating the holiday with a Christmas tree, and soon thereafter,families throughout England boasted a decorated tree during the Christmasseason.

Many other popularChristmas traditions became popular during Victoria’s reign. Some of theseinclude:

* Christmas Cards ~ thecombination of the halfpenny postage rate, which allowed a letter or card to bemailed throughout England inexpensively, and the advances in affordable colorprinting technology brought Christmas cards to popularity. By 1880, more thaneleven million cards were produced each year.

* Exchanging Christmas Presents~ The giving of small gifts at New Year’s shifted to become a central part ofthe Victorian holiday tradition. Gifts were given and placed under the tree inanticipation of the holiday.

* Christmas Carols ~ Yetanother Victorian tradition, the singing of favorite holiday songs (which wereat the time new and popular hits) to mark the holiday season emerged duringthis era, as did the custom of traveling in groups from house to house tojoyously sing Christmas carols.

* Christmas Vacation ~During the Victorian era, middle class families began the tradition of takingtime off from work to spend with their families.

* Mistletoe ~ Who canresist a kiss beneath the mistletoe? This girl certainly can’t! What a lovelyholiday tradition!

These are just a few ofthe more popular Victorian holiday traditions that continue to endure today. Inthe spirit of gift giving, I’ll be giving away a copy of Claimed by the Captain to one commenter. Simply tell us whichholiday tradition is your favorite and why…it does NOT need to be one of thesefive. Many more Victorian traditions remain popular favorites. What are some ofyour favorite traditions?

I’d also love yourfriendship this holiday season. You can find me on Facebookand Twitter,or stop by my blogor webpage.

Merry Christmas! May youhave a wonderful holiday season!

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