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For many, the word "Christmas" is virtually synonymous with "Victorian." Of course, the Victorians are famous for bringing us "Christmas as we know it" -- the tree, the gifts, the lights, even the cards. An actual Victorian Christmas, however, might look very different from what we've come to expect. And despite our tendency to associate Christmas with Victorians, Victorian magazines often gave very little space to Christmas topics, such as food, decorating and gift-giving.
CHRISTMAS IN GENERAL; LORE & HISTORY
Christmas, by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury
by the Hon. Mrs. H. Armytage Christmas at Court, (GOP 1883)
A brief history of Christmas customs at court.
Christmas in History (GOP 1896)
More specifically, Christmas in British history!
by T.F. Thiselton Dyer Christmas Parties, (GOP 1889)
How Christmas was celebrated in the 1700's.
How to Prepare for and Keep Christmas, by Ruth Lamb
by Ruth Lamb What We Used to Do at Christmas, (GOP 1883)
Reminiscences of Christmas and New Years' traditions, such as first-footing -- and the fact that while the teller was in awe of her first gas-lights, her listeners, she says, will tell their children of the first time they saw electric lights!
Hints for Christmas Decorations (GOP 1881)
Decorations include "mottos" made of cardboard or tinfoil letters amidst greenery.
Our Christmas Decorations (GOP 1884)
by Ruth Lamb Our Novel Christmas Tree (Part I), (GOP 1880)
How the Christmas tree was decorated.
Uncle Gilbert's Return, or, Christmas Decoration of the Home (GOP 1885)
A look at a Christmas celebration in Canada.
by Lucy Yates The Children's Party Supper, (GOP 1897)
Recipes for a children's supper, including Galantine (with rabbit), Chicken Patties, Duchess Gateaux, Crystal Palace Pudding, Chocolate Mould, and Prune Jelly. (The children also enjoyed mince pies, cheesecakes, and fruits and nuts.)
by Lucy Helen Yates Christmas Fare for Rich and Poor, (GOP 1896)
From Turkish fig-pudding to game pie, this will tantalize your holiday taste buds!
Christmas Poultry and Game, and How to Cook It (GOP 1892)
, by "Constance" Christmas Sweet Dishes (GOP 1892)
GIFTS, CARDS & CRAFTS
by L. Fanny Rose Christmas and Birthday Cards, (GOP 1895)
How to make them with dried botanical specimens.
by B.C. Saward Christmas Gifts, (GOP 1887)
A variety of simple gifts to make.
by Marion Helen Burnside Christmas Presents in Art Needlework, (GOP 1892)
by Leirion Clifford Novelties in Christmas and New Years' Gifts, (GOP 1898)
A variety of gifts to make in needlework.
by Verbum Sap. On Giving Presents, (GOP 1900)
Though not specifically a "Christmas" article, its tips certainly apply!
by Gleeson White Private Christmas Cards, (GOP 1896)
Some personal, home-made cards, and how to design one's own.
The Angels' Song Words by Frances Ridley Havergal, music by C.H. Purday (GOP 1883)
Carol for Female Voices Words by Longfellow, music by William Hunt (GOP 1894)
A Christmas Carol (GOP 1882)
A Christmastide Remembrance Words by Mrs. Norton, music by C.A. Macirone (GOP 1888)
A Happy Christmas: The Girl's Own Carol Words and music by Joseph Barnby (GOP 1884)
In Vesture White: A Song and Chorale for Christmastide Words by Rev. Richard Wilton, music by Myles Foster (GOP 1889)
Joy Cometh in the Morning: A Short Cantata for Girls' Voices Words by Helen Marion Burnside, music by Mary Augusta Salmond (GOP 1896)
An Old Christmas Carol (GOP 1881)
A Victorian version of "The First Nowell."
Old Daddy Christmas: A Musical Allegory Words and music by Herbert Harraden (GOP 1892)
See, the Dawn from Heaven is Breaking! (GOP 1886)
A Christmas Carol.
GAMES, ENTERTAINMENTS & PAGEANTS
Christmas Pastoral Operetta: The Queen of Arcadee Words and music by Herbert Harraden (GOP 1890)
The Christmas Tree (GOP 1881)
On some Victorian Christmas games.
by G.D. Lynch Cinderella, Arranged in Six Tableaux, (GOP 1897)
A Christmas tableaux
by Somerville Gibney Diamond Cut Diamond, (GOP 1896)
A Christmas play or pageant.
by Somerville Gibney A Friend in Need, (GOP 1891)
A Christmas play.
by Ruth Lamb Our Novel Christmas Tree (Part II), (GOP 1880)
Script for a Christmas pageant to be performed by the children of the house.
An Original Charade (GOP 1881)
Script for a children's Christmas charade.
Our Christmas School Treat (GOP 1892)
An activity for children.
by Clara Thwaites Our Lake, (GOP 1886)
A Christmas "novelty" for the children: a "lake" in which they can "fish" for toys and bonbons.
The Pedlar: A Pastoral (for Christmas performance) Words and music by Herbert Harraden (GOP 1891)
by Somerville Gibney Per Parcels Post, (GOP 1892)
A Christmas play or pageant.
by Somerville Gibney Something New, (GOP 1889)
New ideas for Christmas entertainments.
CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD
An Appeal (GOP 1887-1892)
An ongoing appeal for donations to schools and missions in India, with letters detailing how cards and gifts were received.
by William Cowan Christmas Customs Here and Elsewhere, (GOP 1895)
Christmas customs in Britain and Europe.
Christmas Day Festivities in Italy (GOP 1897)
Christmas in a French Boarding School (GOP 1887)
Christmas in the German Fatherland (GOP 1887)
Christmas in Italy (GOP 1887)
Christmas in Norway (GOP 1891)
Big picture, small article!
Popular Christmas Festivities in Naples (GOP 1896)
by an Anglo-Canadian Reminiscences of Christmas, (GOP 1891)
Reminiscences of Christmas in London and in Canada.
A CHRISTMAS MISCELLANY
by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury Christmas, (GOP 1881)
A Christmas sermon.
by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. ("Medicus") Christmas Comes but Once a Year, (GOP 1889)
Some Christmas reminiscences, and tips on how to have a safe and healthy holiday.
by T.F. Thiselton Dyer Christmas with Our Poets, (GOP 1885)
How poets have written about Christmas.
by Ruth Lamb How to Prepare for and Keep Christmas, (GOP 1882)
The author particularly takes exception to those teachers who insist upon giving their students "just a little work to do" during their holiday, and advises boys and girls to have fun.
CHRISTMAS OUTSIDE THE HOME
Christmas Day in a London Hospital (GOP 1890)
by S.F.A. Caulfield Christmas in the New Hospital for Women, (GOP 1884)
How Christmas is celebrated in the wards of a London women's hospital.
Hospital Sketches (GOP 1898)
Take a moment to discover how patients enjoyed "Christmas in the wards"!
Red Letter Days (GOP 1890)
A three-day "Christmas party" set up by the London school board to entertain children during the Christmas holidays.
Copyright © 2018 by
Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine • GOP = Girl's Own Paper • ILA = Illustrated London Almanack • S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly • C = Century Magazine • D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine • G = Godey's Lady's Book • H = Harper's Monthly
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