Activities: Dress Your Own Victorian Christmas Tree
It was Queen Victoria's German-born husband Prince Albert who first introduced Christmas trees to England. In 1841 he put one up in Windsor Palace, word got around and the custom filtered down through society to become one of the essential features of the 20th century Christmas, a tradition that continues today. Here are some tips on how the Victorians would have decorated their trees.
Collect various objects which can be used as ornaments to place on the tree. Victorians would use all sorts of things they found around the house and garden to decorate their trees. Objects from nature were popular, like pinecones, evergreen leaves, fruits and berries. Small toys and presents were often hung on the tree, until people started to buy larger presents, which then had to be placed underneath.
Wrap ribbon or raffia around items like walnuts, cinnamon sticks and pinecones, using the ribbon to tie them onto the branches of the tree.
Thread various objects onto ribbon, cotton, string or raffia. Long chains can be made by threading several items on to one piece of thread. You may want to tie knots between each item so they are not able to slip. A string of dried fruits looks brilliant and smells great.
Give your door the Victorian festive treatment.
A very typical and attractive Victorian decoration.
Simple but effective hand-made decorations.
See all 25 activities to make your own Victorian Christmas.
National Archives: Victorian Britain
History in Focus: The Victorian Era
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victorian Web
British Library: Online Exhibition: Victorian Britain
Pollock's Toy Museum