Eco Friendly Victorian Post Christmas

by Katy Green

Victorian Christmas Card

Well, the holidays are ending and so we are left with what I call the "odd week" between Xmas and New Years. What to do?

This is a great time to celebrate the gathering of family and friends sans gift exchange. This is also a time of reflection as well and plan for the new year.

There are many Victorian holiday traditions but there are a couple that are more appropriate during this time:

Victorian Christmas Crackers

Victorian Christmas Crackers
The Christmas cracker was invented by a sweet shop owner called Thomas Smith as way to market more sweets. He would include letters and notes to family and friends as well. We hope you enjoy this video on how to create Victorian Xmas Crackers.
Eco Friendly materials to create Victorian Crackers:
  • Use any type of cardboard rollers or plastic cups the same size to shape
  • Wrap with used magazine paper or newspaper
  • Decorate with use Xmas Cards or pictures from any magazine
  • Stuff with notes to friends, cookies and homemade sweets or crackers
Click here to: Watch the video on Victorian Crackers! 

The Peppermint Pig
The Peppermint Pig

The Peppermint Pig is a Victorian tradition created by candy makers in Saratoga Springs, NY.

According to the pig represented good health, happiness and prosperity. Old fashioned candy makers fashioned the Peppermint Pigs™ each year during the holiday season. These sweet treats were made of hard peppermint candy --similar in taste and texture to a candy cane -- and appropriately colored a very festive pink!

When families gathered together at Christmas for the holiday meal, the tradition was to break the Peppermint Pig™ after dinner (inside a small cloth pouch) using a miniature hammer. All family members would then share in eating the sweet candy pieces, hoping for good fortune in the coming year.
Christmas Card 1920's
At we believe homemade is more green friendly and it is the best way to share the experience with family so we hope you enjoy this recipe updated from Barbara M's Holiday Tradition on how to make A Peppermint Pig! You can do this during "the odd week" it does not have to be done only on Xmas Day.

Holiday Tradition of Barbara M. from Bakersfield ,United States (revised to be more green friendly)
  •  4 c.granulated sugar (3 1/2 cups of raw sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of pure apple juice)
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 square of aluminum foil (12x24 inches or larger) (can't think of alternative but we recycle aluminum foil)
  • 3/4 c. light corn syrup (honey or molasses instead)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1-2 Tbsp margarine (use a margarine alternative like Olive Oil or Coconut Oil)
  • 1 tsp marshmallow creme (use Ricemellow instead)
  • 2-3 drops red food color (use beet juice or strawberry juice or any red fruit juice for coloring)
Mix sugar, corn syrup alternative and water in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Insert candy thermometer in pan and bring to 300-degree boil. Remove from heat , add marshmellow alternative,red food color alternative and peppermint oil and stir vigorously as mixture froths up,cools and begins to thicken. Place foil on counter and smear with margarine alternative. Scraping bottom and sides of pan,pour candy on to foil to form a thin layer. While candy is cooling,press a buttered cookie cutter (a pig or any holiday style cutter) down into candy and leave it sitting there til the candy sets up hard. Break the candy outside the cookie cutter away,gently remove candy from the cutter and it is ready to serve or place in a nice pouch with a string to close the pouch.

To use it at a family gathering use a household hammer or mallet or toy hammer so everyone can take a whack at the pig in the pouch. It is then passed around the table once at least. Everyone has to state what they are willing to give up for the new and what they appreciate in the past year.