Georgian and Regency Christmas
The subdued atmosphere and celebrations of the Restoration Christmas did not really become popular in England. After this period, the Georgian and Regency period entered. Quite naturally, the kings and queens of this era became the focal point of many celebrations.
It was also during this time that the Twelfth Night became firmly embedded in the English Christmas Tradition. The Twelfth Night is actually the 5th of January and is celebrated as the end of the Christmas season. This tradition can be traced way back to the Middle Ages but the festivities surrounding this date can be attributed to the parties that the monarchs and other nobility held during this day.
Early Victorian Christmas
Perhaps the most popular image that can be attributed to the Early Victorian Christmas would be the Christmas tree. For many people today, Christmas is not complete with out this tree – and this is true for many countries around the world, even those who do not really have evergreen trees. Although the Christmas tree was introduced to England during the Georgian period (this was from Germany, by the way), it was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who made it part of English custom. They were quite passionate about the holiday season and made the Christmas tree a focal point of their family celebrations.
If the Early Victorian Christmas made the Christmas tree popular, the mid-Victorian era brought forth the Christmas card and the Christmas cracker. As one Victorian writer wrote:
‘If there is one thing inseparable from Christmas in general and the little ones’ seasonable gatherings in particular, it is – a cracker. With what a delightful look of expectation they have waited for it to go “bang”, and how they have screamed as they scrambled after the surprise which came in response to the explosion …’.