I was going to wait until December 1st to put up a new layout, but I just couldn't wait because I came across this particular one late last night and couldn't stop thinking about it. So here it is. What do you think? Perfectly festive but not particularly religious one way or another.
So what's my topic for today's blog entry? Why thanks for asking, I'm about to tell you!
Today's topic is Christmas. What began as a pagan festival honoring the return of the sun and evolved into the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ has now become the world's most popular (and secular) holiday. But I'm not here to give you a history lesson, you can do that on your time. Instead, I'd like to delve into some nifty ways to observe Christmas that fit in with the Lolita theme.
A lot of Lolitas, or more specifically Gothic Lolitas, like to darken up their Christmas and make it decadently romantic. And that can be lovely, but I suggest an alternative route. Since Lolita fashion is almost directly derived from the Victorian period, why not celebrate Christmas old school.....meaning of course in the traditional 1800s way.
So the first way to acheive a truly Victorian Christmas is to decorate accordingly. And nothing screams more Victorian than a large evergreen tree (artificial works too though) strung up with popcorn and cranberries. This is remarkably easy to do and after Christmas you can leave your tree decor outside for the birds to munch on. And since they didn't have multicolored twinkling lights for their trees, they used candles. Honestly, this is a fire hazard and should likely not be attempted. However, you can easily find artificial candles designed to be used for Christmas trees to acheive the same effect.
Poinsettas and ribbons were popular adornments for trees back then, and in fact, still are. So head over to your local Wal-mart (or other department stores) and pick up a package of red velvet ribbons to secure to your tree. You can also scour the aisles for other Victorian inspired ornaments: fairy and angel figurines, glass globes, garlands of all colors, etc. The most important item is the tree topper. Go for a traditional star or angel.
For more info on Victorian ornaments, see Here.
If you would like to make your own Victorian ornaments, give these a go: Here.
For decorating the rest of your home in a Victorian manner, stick with rich and decadent hues like forest greens and burgundy and cream. Wreaths and garlands are a nice touch, as are long taper candles in ornate candle holders.
The Victorians never passed up an opportunity to throw a dinner party and neither should you. Host one of your own on the 24th with a traditional Christmas Eve Dinner: serve punch and appetizers, followed by turkey, bread, and salad with cheese and coffee to end the night. Make sure to decorate with a nice lace tablecloth and a beautiful Christmas centerpiece.
For more info on a typical Victorian Christmas meal, see Here.
The first Christmas card was designed in 1843 and thus began the sending of holiday greeting cards. They were originally printed on stiff cardboard and featured scenes representing acts of goodwill and charity. In the 1880s the Christmas Card business boomed and many writers and artists contributed to the cause. Instead of tracking down expensive and vintage holiday cards (though you're certainly welcome to) you can also create your own.
Cut out rectangles from stiff cardboard or poster and decorate them with ribbons, lace, glitter, and pressed flowers. Be creative and have fun. Write your personalize messages on the back and then send them off in nice envelopes. If you want to make Christmas cards, be sure to send one to me. I love displaying them!
In keeping with the Victorian tradition, gifts made by the giver are always more cherished and appreciated. So instead of spending a ton of money at the mall this year, why not create something unique and special for your loved ones?
For those who can knit or crochet, why not modernize a nineteenth century accessory for the fashionable lady of today. Pick a 19th century purse pattern to make a unique cell phone holder.
Hand painting china was an easy and popular craft, especially at holiday time. Finding a single tea cup and saucer at an antique store, then wrapping it with cookies and tea bags would make a special gift year round. Furthermore, it would be easy to create your own ceramic gift - most pottery or ceramic studios provide everything: including stamps, stencils, sponges, idea books, a little coaching, and a lot of encouragement.
I hope you enjoyed this little segment on Christmas 1800s style. I'll be dreaming of gold and burgundy ribbons, flickering candles, and delicious cups of punch of days to come. How about you?