Those darn Victorians
Posted by Carolyn B on March 19, 1998 at 23:10:58:
In response to Christmas, written by Linden on March 19, 1998 at 21:46:23
] A lot of the modern Christmas hype is later, pushed by such strange bedfellows as Charles Dickens and Coca-Cola.
My understanding: after the Puritans banned Christmas, it was not as big a deal in England before Victoria married Albert who brought many of the German traditions such as the Christmas tree. (My source book "Christmas Through the Decades" is at work so I can't quote from it - I'll try to remember to confirm this tomorrow) There is a famous print of the Royal Family standing around the tree that was seen in both English and American magazines and popularized that tradition.
Similar things were going on in the US. In 1830s, for example, German immigrants celebrated Christmas while their Anglo neighbors often did not. I'm remembering this last bit from a talk given by the historian at Conner Prairie, an 1830s living history museum outside Indianapolis. A lot of historic sites like Conner Prairie and Colonial Williamsburg had been marketing Christmas big-time over the years and then when they actually started doing research they found that many Americans of those times really didn't make such a big deal out of it. This of course causes problems when the tourists show up wanting to know why the historic buildings aren't decked out all pretty! Conner Prairie tries educating their visitors by comparing what the German household did with what their English neighbors weren't doing.
- Christmas tree Marie Bernadette 16:38:55 3/21/98 (2)
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