How to Recreate the Traditional Victorian Christmas at Home
A Victorian Christmas had a particularly warm and cosy feel, and although more simplistic than a modern Christmas, Victorian homes were always elegantly dressed for the festive season. So what is the best way to recreate this beautiful period look?
The Bells were Ringing Out for Christmas Time
Why not start as you mean to go on, and set the Victorian Christmas theme from the minute your guests arrive at your house? A traditional butler’s bell will really set the tone of your elegant festivities right from the off. Choose a brass or black bell with a pull; these are always talking points and will welcome your guests in style.
Of course, a beautiful wreath on your front door will also help to set the scene beautifully, but make sure that your door is worthy of a Victorian wreath. The Victorians tended to go for bold and beautiful wreaths on a large scale, and so to balance this it’s important that your door furniture lives up to expectations: a traditional brass or black iron door knocker and matching letter plate will do the trick.
Step into Christmas
Once the bell has been rung, the first step to welcoming your guests into a warm, cosy, Victorian Christmas environment is, of course, the hallway. Many people neglect this room of their home when it comes to decorating for Christmas, but this is a mistake.
Just think of a beautiful staircase, brass stair rails gleaming, and a gorgeous garland weaving its way up the bannister. Add a collection of traditional but simple and stylish candles arranged on a brass or chrome tray under a matching mirror, accompanied by a sprig of holly and / or ivy, atop a sideboard and you’ll really set the scene as visitors step into your home.
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
A cosy, roaring fire will always naturally create a beautiful focal point within any home. It’s therefore especially important to decorate it for Christmas, as alongside your tree, this will be a focus within your home.
Dress the mantel with a traditional garland – preferably real, but a good fake garland will also work if dressed correctly – and adorn this with small, traditional ornaments. Stick to classic reds and greens, and think wooden figurines, holly berries and pine cones; anything with a slightly rustic but simply beautiful feel.
Of course, stockings made from traditional materials such as burlap and velvet also help to set the scene. And remember that you can use garlands and stockings to dress other parts of the home, such as curtain rails; if these are made from brass they will look especially Victorian when dressed festively!
Oh Christmas Tree!
Obviously, your biggest focus when decorating the home should be your Christmas tree. Why not do as the Victorians would do, and hand make some of your decorations? Cinnamon sticks tied with ribbon, raffia wrapped walnuts, dried orange pieces and other natural objects naturally lend themselves towards Christmas decorations.
Homemade Christmas crackers were also popular, and can be easily made using cardboard rolls, crepe paper and cracker snaps. And the beauty of homemade crackers? Not only do you spare yourself the expense of buying mass produced crackers which often have disappointing gifts inside, but you can fill them with treats and goodies of your choosing.
Why not tailor them to each guest around the dinner table for a truly personal extra present?
By thinking about the more traditional elements that make a house a home at Christmas, it’s easy to add the Victorian touch. Gather family and friends round and start with the basics that nature gave us, and you won’t go far wrong.