A Regency Era Christmas time tradition.Continue reading →
The custom was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a civil servant who wanted ordinary people to become more interested in the new ‘Public Post Office’.
With his artist friend John Horsley, they designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each.Continue reading →
Christmas Carols In History
The word ‘carol’ comes from the old French ‘carole’ for a song written and played as a courtly dancing song. Carols then took on a more popular form, telling stories and celebrating religious themes for all seasons until the late 19th century when they became associated with Christmas.
In 1822, Davies Gilbert published “Some Ancient Christmas Carols”, in which he described a typical English West Country Christmas. The collection sang of food, drink, and good things celebrated at Christmas.
The British Museum said: “Mr. Gilbert has taken advantage of old Time, and made safe, for some centuries at least, a record of our ancient Christmas Carols; and for this good deed has secured the gratitude of Antiquaries yet unborn. These Carols are genuine national curiosities.”
They took the place of Psalms in all churches on Christmas Day and, as the whole congregation could join in, were greeted with huge approval. Carols were passed on orally from place to place, often with different words or tunes.
The published carols included songs still popular today, including The First Noël, I Saw Three Ships, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. This collection was followed by compilations of carols from other scholars such as William Sandy’s works in 1833 and 1852.
Vintage Christmas Cards
.Bells Beautiful Bells
They hold a long time association with Christmas – In Victorian times, carol singers used small handbells to play the tune of the carol – Sometimes there were bells without singing – Church bells are rung after sunset to signal the start of the Christmas Eve service, the first of Christmas.
I love these vintage cards with their gorgeous Christmas Bells.
The Origins of Christmas.
From the Old English ‘Cristes Mæsse’ ~ meaning the ‘mass of Christ’ ~ the story of Christmas begins with the birth of a babe in Bethlehem.
It is believed that Christ was born on the 25th, although the exact month is unknown. December was likely chosen so the Catholic Church could compete with rival pagan rituals held at that time of year and because of its closeness with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a traditional time of celebration among many ancient cultures.Continue reading →
Our modern Christmas tree tradition probably began in Germany in the 18th century, though some argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century. From Germany, the Christmas tree custom was introduced to England, first via Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, around the 1830s and then more successfully by Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s German husband) during her reign.Continue reading →