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What You'll Find in
Victorian Times - December 2014
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Christmas Crackers (The Strand, 1891)
Step into a British store at Christmas time today, and you'll see row upon row of "crackers" - not the kind you eat, the kind you pull to get a bit of a pop and a gift. These were just as popular in Victorian days, and this article explains how they were made - eight to nine million per year for Britain alone, with more distributed to overseas colonies.
Sentimental Cookery (CFM, 1888)
Cakes suitable for a variety of holidays, including pan-cakes - for which in some areas there was a tradition of going from door to door to collect the ingredients.
Healthy Recreations: Skating (GOP, 1880)
How to skate, tend your skates - and skate safely in Victorian dress!
Christmas in the Olden Time (Peterson's Magazine, 1879)
A look at the history of Christmas customs from ancient days.
An Old Christmas Carol (GOP, 1880)
You'll surely recognize this one...
Christmas Dinner Menus (Demorest, 1880)
Bills of fare for everything from the "plain Christmas dinner" (ham, roast goose, apple sauce, cabbage, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cheese, apples, nuts, coffee) to a three-course dinner for ten persons (too long to reprint here!)
Puddings and Pies for Christmas (Demorest, 1880)
Who knew there were so many ways to prepare plum pudding? This collection also offers Mocha Pudding, Pumpkin Pie, Dartmouth Pudding, Mince-meat, and many other recipes that sound unbearably tempting!
Them Old Cheery Words (Century, 1897)
A charming post-Civil War poem by James Whitcomb Riley.
Carols and Carol-Singers (The Home Magazine, 1898)
A brief history of caroling.
Our Christmas Decorations (GOP, 1884)
If you're thinking of decking the halls in true Victorian style, this article will get you started. Only... please don't use ground-up glass bottles for glitter! (An alternative was Epsom salts!)
A Vision of St. Nicholas (The Strand, 1891)
This illustrated version of Clement Moore's famous poem inexplicably depicts a young woman as the narrator!
Christmas at Court (GOP, 1883)
A look at how Queen Victoria celebrated Christmas. Interestingly, though Victoria wrote of having enjoyed Christmas trees as a child, she and Prince Albert actually observed this tradition on New Year's Eve!
Christmas Customs Here and Elsewhere (GOP, 1895)
Customs "elsewhere" include the feast of onions, the dragging of the bachelors, the Polish "Christmas-guest," and the hunting of the wren.
Flowers in History, Part 6 (GOP, 1889)
The final installment of this series offers us the Passion Flower, Primrose, Rose of Sharon, Rose, Sunflower, Thistle, Violet and more.
Christmas Fare for Rich and Poor (GOP, 1896)
A delectable round-up of Christmas puddings, cakes, pies, and main courses.
Christmas Presents in Art Needlework (GOP, 1892)
Looking for the perfect gift? These craft projects may give you some ideas!
Christmas Sweet Dishes (GOP, 1892)
More tempting treats, including Currant Buns, Dundee Cake, Shortbread, Meringues, Creams, Biscottines, Fruit Compotes, and more.
Christmas in the Forest (The Strand, 1897)
A charming short story for children, from the German, about two woodcutters' children who encounter some helpful gnomes.
New Year's Eve (GOP, 1902)
As this article reveals, many winter traditions are shared between Christmas and New Year's, including the essential task of wassailing the apple trees!
Odds and Ends (GOP, 1895)
A fascinating round-up of news, notes and trivia from around the Victorian world.
Poetry
The Frost Spirit (Whittier)
Christmas Day on Dartmoor
A Winter Picture
The Month of December

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Moira Allen.
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Magazine Abbreviations:
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
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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