Eco Friendly Victorian Holiday Traditions

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Illustrated London News published a drawing of the royal family in 1848 celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition that was reminiscent of Prince Albert's childhood in Germany.

by Katy Green

We are huge fans of the Victorian era at for many reasons; the simplicity and the extravagance of the gifts and holiday decorations are a perfect mix of eco-luxury and the true spirit of the holidays.

The victorian era was during the period of Queen Victoria's reign (in England each era was marked and transformed by the Queen or King that reigned - like the Elizabethan era, etc.).

Brief Victorian History:

According to Wikipedia, the Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. This era was preceded by the Georgian period and succeeded by the Edwardian period.

Top 5 Victorian Holiday Traditions:
  • Victorians went Christmas caroling during the holiday season. 
  • Groups of singers traveled to every house singing carols or songs, for which they were often rewarded.
  • One of the most popular rewards for their gift of song was the mince pie.
    • A mince pie is a small British sweet pie traditionally served during the holidays. Mince pies date back to the 13th century.
    • Click here for a Mince Pie Recipe.  
    • A mince pie is perfect for any gathering accomponied by a glass of full bodied red wine.
  • Carolers were also rewarded with money which they donated to charity.
  • The original term for caroling is wassailing.
Victorian Christmas Cards:

Authentic Victorian Christmas Card
  • Victorians created the first Christmas cards.
  • The antique two-sided holiday greeting card (featured above) is decorated with blue silk fringe.
  • Front says: "A Merry Christmas to You". Back says: "A Happy New Year, Health and prosperity, Your life to cheer, With every blessing, For the bright New Year".
  • According to - The "Penny Post" was first introduced in Britain in 1840 by Rowland Hill. The idea was simple, a penny stamp paid for the postage of a letter or card to anywhere in Britain.
  • The "Penny Post" paved the waCy for the sending the first Christmas cards. Sir Henry Cole was the first to test this concept by printing a thousand cards for sale in his art shop in London at one shilling each.
    • During the first 70 years of the 19th century it was common for Christmas and other greeting cards to be recycled by women's service organizations who collected them and removed the pictures, to be pasted into scrap books for the entertainment of children in hospitals, orphanages, kindergartens and missions. This service gradually disappeared because children's books became more affordable but the concept of scrapbooking is very Victorian. You can create a scrapbook of memories for your loved ones.
    • An environmentally friendly way to express your love is to send E-cards instead.
  • Free sites for Victorian inspired E-Cards:
Visit us later today for Part II of Eco-Friendly Victorian Holiday Traditions