Victorian Christmas

Modern Christmas is essentially a product of the Victorian Era. Prior to that era, Christmas was more like Mardi Gras than the solemn, over-commercialized holiday we all enjoy. I decided to explore the traditions of the Victorian Era to discover how things have changed.


The ideal snowman was not the jolly corncob pipe snowman that we often think of, but is more like a mix of Rumpelstiltskin and Satan.


It's time we revived the beloved tradition of making children wear ridiculous clothing and sending them into a blizzard at night to forage for greenery.


Caroling is a holiday favorite that began in the Victorian Era, originally a group of men would gather in the town square to sing Mozarabic Chant. They soon realized this was boring and switched to Christmas music.


We currently believe that Santa is omniscient, but in the Victorian Era he would simply stare creepily into windows.


Victorians did not eschew child labor. This child was not only employed as a blacksmith, but was tasked with providing Christmas for his entire family. He was probably beaten severely for spilling so many goodies.


One definite change is the attitude toward Mistletoe. Listen to what Lady Charlotte Pemberton had to say:

"Mistletoe is beautiful, but one should avoid kissing beneath it. This often leads to impure thoughts about an unspeakable act of carnal wickedness."

December 2009