The History of Christmas

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Mallory Johnson

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Many of the famous Christmas traditions we know today came from the Victorian Period in England. Christmas wasn’t very popular at the beginning of 19th century but became very popular by the 20th century. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert from Germany they started celebrating Christmas. Prince Albert had celebrated Christmas in his childhood and brought his traditions to England. In 1848 a drawing of the royal family celebrating Christmas around a tree was published by the Illustrated London News. Soon every house in England had a tree decorated in their living room. In 1843, an artist was commissioned by Henry Cole to design a Christmas card. They were one shilling each, so many people couldn’t afford one. Queen Victoria encouraged her children and the country’s children, to make their own Christmas cards. Card printing soon became more advanced and the price went down. In the 1880’s card sending became extremely popular. In 1880 alone there were 11.5 million cards created and sent. In 1848, a a British confectioner, named Tom Smith, visited Paris where he saw Bon Bons. He had the idea to make a sweet treat that snapped when you pulled it apart. In 1881, strict instructions were given by Cassell’s Family Magazine to lady of the house. They were told that it wouldn’t hurt to decorate the other rooms of their house. At the beginning, gifts were given at New Years, but as Christmas became more important to the Victorians, it was moved to Christmas.