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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS


This time of year I often like to relax with a cup of hot tea and look through some of my Christmas books for inspiration. I shared this little book last December and decided to offer it up again for Chari's Sunday Favorites.



A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS
By Koren Trygg & Lucy Poshek

A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS , an Antioch Gourmet Gift Book, is a petite book of cherished Christmas traditions. It's the perfect size to slip into someone's stocking, and though out of print, it can be found here on Amazon.



This delightful book credits the Victorians for the "classic, festive holiday we cherish today". It was during the 19th century and Queen Victoria's reign that many of the age old customs were revived, "emphasizing their romantic and religious significance". The Christmas tree, a German tradition, dates to the 16th century. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, a German, she wanted him to feel at home and had a Christmas tree brought into the palace. Thus the practice of decorated Christmas trees became fashionable in British homes.



Gingerbread cookies decorated with red sugar were often hung on the trees for decoration.



Most of the ornaments were handmade.



Glass ornaments later became the fashion.



The Victorians took the pagan idea of hanging greens in the house as a welcomed opportunity to use wreaths and garlands of fresh greens to "dress up their homes in the spirit of the holidays".



The custom of Christmas cards dates fromVictorian times. The typical greeting of the time is the same as today, "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."



Traditions of Christmas stockings, according to British legend, date from "when Saint Nicholas dropped some gold coins along with his gifts down a chimney. The coins would have fallen through the grate but were caught by a stocking that had been hung to dry on the hearth. Ever since then, children have been leaving their shoes or stockings to be filled on Christmas Eve."



Victorians loved their sweets and began preparing marmalades, jams, jellies, puddings, and cakes months ahead.



By December they began baking cookies and breads.



The last two chapters are devoted to special recipes that can be used as gifts from your kitchen or to host your own Victorian Christmas Feast. I selected the recipe for Old-Fashioned Gingerbread to share for Food For Thought because gingerbread is my favorite.



It's cold outside, so come on in by our cozy fire . . .



Where you can enjoy a cup of hot tea and a piece of gingerbread fresh from the oven.



"Had I but a penny in the world, thou shouldst have it for gingerbread."
William Shakespeare

Joining














46 comments:

  1. There's a fire in the hearth and a cup of tea at my left hand - but, alas, no gingerbread at all!

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  2. There is nothing like warm gingerbread from the oven! Your cozy fire looks VERY inviting. Merry Christmas Sarah!

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  3. I love the smell of gingerbread baking as well as the eating of it and I like gingerbread cookies as well as the cake! I've not heard the story of the coins and the stocking -- how clever!

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  4. I love gingerbread with lemon curd. A wonderful way to enjoy this 4th Suday in Advent.

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  5. So warm and inviting. Gingerbread fresh from the oven and a hot cup of tea...heavenly. You have shared a wonderful story. Merry Christmas to you...

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  6. Leave it to the Victorians. It really was a beautiful time as decor goes. What a pretty post.

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  7. Love that you researched these wonderful Christmas traditions. Tea at your house sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas. ~CJ

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  8. so warm,cozy and inviting..

    Thank you for sharing this season of joy and pink!HPS!

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  9. Ah Christmas before mass commercialism, lovely. Have a good one and I look forward to following you in 2012.

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  10. Beautiful post and nice review of a victorian christmas. Tea and gingerbread ... YES!!!

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  11. Hi Sarah,
    that looks all so lovely. Like he good old times. I love that.
    Best seasonal greetings, Johanna

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  12. Hello Sarah...

    What a wonderfully sweet Christmas post, my friend! I'm sure that the book "Victorian Christmas" would be a wonderful addition to anyone's library. I so enjoyed reading about where and how some of the Victorian Christmas traditions came about...so interesting! I had never heard the story about St. Nick and the coins...and how the Christmas stocking evolved. I love that!

    Well dear lady, you certainly set a lovely Christmas tea and the freshly baked gingerbread sounds sooo yummy! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful Christmas post with us for the Sunday Favorites party today!

    Warmest wishes to you and your family for a wonderful and blessed Christmas, Sarah!

    Have a super Sunday!
    Chari

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  13. Sarah,
    What a delightful post. I adore learning more traditons from other countries during the holiday seasons! The one about the coins and the stockings was new for me! Thank you for sharing...while I'm sipping my cup of tea, also!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  14. What a beautiful post! I love the images and the thoughts. I hadn't heard that about the coins being dropped down the chimney! Charming!

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  15. Beautiful post Sarah! Love your tea and the history of the Victorian Christmas and how we got our traditions!
    Hope you are enjoying the season...I too posted about having tea today! Merry Christmas my friend!
    Miss Bloomers

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  16. This is such a lovely post, Sarah. I love the way you illustrated this interesting book with your beautiful photos. I love learning the origins of Christmas traditions.

    I just returned from a visit to Colorado to celebrate an early Christmas with my family. My holiday at home will be a quiet one this year.

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  17. Sarah~ I loved this post when you shared it at Food for Thought! There is nothing better than cup of tea and a piece of gingerbread warm from the oven~ especially in front of a crackling fire!

    I'm glad your dishes arrived safely~ I know you'll give them a good home! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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  18. A beautiful book Sarah, and that gingerbread made my mouth water. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and new year, sweet friend. laurie

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  19. Beautiful Victorian Christmas Sarah!

    Merry Christmas!

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  20. How pretty and festive, Sarah! Love the gingerbread...one of my favorites! Merry Christmas, sweet friend!...hugs...Debbie

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  21. Such pretty photos, Sarah!
    I am sipping a hot cup of gingerbread coffe right now~!
    If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, I highly HIGHLY recommend a round canister of their Gingerbread Coffee.
    It is only sold at this time of year and makes a fantastic gift.
    Not a flavored coffee, but a coffee grind with spices added.
    IT is out of this world!

    Merry Christmas Sarah!
    xoxox
    Alison

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  22. It wouldn't be Christmas without a warm fire, a good book, a cup of tea and gingerbread!

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  23. I love this beautiful post, Sarah.

    And, there's not much better in this world than a piece of warm gingerbread, straight from the oven, with the aroma still strong throughout the house, and a tiny bit of REAL butter. ummmm

    Have a wonderful Christmas, my sweet friend...
    Love, bj

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  24. Sarah, I love all things Victorian at Christmas. I don't have this book but I do have Christmas a Treasury of Verse and Prose displayed on TFH. You have such a beautiful collection of ornaments on your tree and the wreath with the pink bow is so pretty. Such lovely touches of a Victorian Christmas throughout. Gingerbread is a favorite of mine too with a steaming cup of coffee. Wish I could share it with you beside the cozy fire.

    Merry Christmas dear Sarah,
    Emily

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  25. Thanks for sharing the history of Christmas, Sarah. Your photos are lovely and the goodies look delicious. Merry Christmas to you all!...Christine

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  26. Headed off to work for another hectic day. I loved this post just for relaxing, enjoying photos and learning about Christmases past.

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  27. Good Morning and Merry Christmas Sarah!

    Those Victorians knew how to "do" Christmas, for sure! The Biltmore Estate blows my mind with their opulent displays and decor, especially at Christmas! I guess if you "got it, flaunt it"--LOL

    I haven't made gingerbread in forever! Your post makes me want to add that to my baking list!

    Sarah, I want to thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with all of us this past year. I always enjoy reading your posts and commenting when time allows. You have so many lovely things and your "teaching" gene has allowed me to learn so much about things and places in life that I would have never know about otherwise.

    I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday. Blessings from my home to yours!

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  28. How perfectly you've captured the essence of the Victorian era, Sarah! I've often wished I could have lived during that time. I'd look great in a bustle skirt! LOL

    Wishing you & yours a very Merry CHRISTmas!

    Hugs,
    Rett

    p.s. Hope your sugar cookies turned out great...I'm starting mine today.

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  29. So I wonder when the gingerbread house became so popular? If I had the courage I would try one again...I have made two gingerbread houses in my life but not for about twenty years!!! Thanks for joining me for Pearls and Lace Thursday!!
    Blessings,
    Doni

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  30. Wishing you and your husband a beautiful Christmas, Sarah. I treasure your blog and your friendship. May 2012 be a year full of joys and blessings!

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  31. I love a Victorian Christmas tale, especially one with lovely photos and a piece of yummy gingerbread on the side:)

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

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  32. A lovely post. I love that Victorian period of time.

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  33. oh these are all so yummy and delicious ... a stunning post ... hugz for xmas xoxo

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  34. Looks like a delightful book! I love things like that!

    I just made some gingerbread recently! We like warm lemon sauce on ours!

    Merry Christmas!

    Katherine

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  35. Hi Sarah, I would love to have tea in this pretty setting and the gingerbread looks wonderful. Thank you for joining my party and Merry Christmas to you!
    Hugs,
    Sherry

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  36. I want to join you by the fire with a cup of tea and some gingerbread, yum!! Merry Christmas!

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  37. Wouldn't you love just to be able to pop back for a while and experience that time for yourself...I sure would!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

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  38. This is a lovely post, Sarah! I can almost smell the gingerbread. Thanks for introducing me to the book.

    Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday! Have a very Merry Christmas and wonderful Holiday Season!

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  39. Oh I must find this book. I love all things Victorian and this book seems so inspiration...much like your beautiful vignettes. Please share this inspirational post by joining our linky party, What's it Wednesday this week. I hope you can join us. Have a fabulous Christmas!

    Paula
    ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

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  40. A very merry Christmas and the happiest of holiday seasons to you and yours, Sarah!...hugs...Debbie

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  41. Sarah dear - despite being way behind in Christmas preparations this year, I just want you to know I'm thinking of you and sending love and best wishes for a magical holiday season.

    May the New Year be full of wonder, good health, and much happiness.

    Hugs - Mary

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  42. It all looks so inviting and delicious!
    Merry Christmas, Sarah, many blessings in the new year!

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  43. Beautiful! I like that book. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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