Christmas has always been one of the most popular of celebrated festivals globally. In his short yet efficient rule of a decade the monarch brought about many significant changes in the lifestyle of England. Many scholars regard this period as a fresh breeze after the conservative and formal Victorian era.
Christmas in the Edwardian era was quite different to the Christmas we celebrate today. With no television, plastic toys, electric bulbs (they had just been introduced to the richest of houses and were yet to become popular) and shopping malls, the Christmas then was in no way less grand than the one we celebrate today.
Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria is often credited with introducing the Christmas tree to England. The tree became a huge favourite of the Edwardian era and was seen almost in every house during Christmas. Edwardians mostly used homemade decorations which were carried forward year after year.
Gold ribbon tie bows and crystals were popular decorative items for decorating the Christmas tree. The top star was except for a few exceptions almost always home made. Natural decorations like Ivy, Yew and Laurels were used to decorate Edwardian houses. Holly berries and mistletoe were as essential to Christmas as they are today. Floral wreaths were hung all around the house.
With no available super markets in the Edwardian era a woman had to visit a range of shops to furnish the Christmas dinner requirements. Boars heads and sheeps tongues formed the beloved delicacies of the Edwardian era. Another noteworthy point here is that goose was preferred over turkey in those times.
Stuffed goose was usually served with apple, gooseberry and bread sauces. The stuffing included chestnuts, pork, and apple. Plum puddings were made several days in advance and were stored in specific arrangements to make them taste better.
Christmas presents often included home made goods like embroidered handkerchiefs, homemade peppermints and sugared almonds which were gifted in hand decorated papers. Children, irrespective of the financial standing of their families seldom got more than one gift.
The luckiest children would land up with a Dutch doll or sometimes even a doll house. Another gift which was catching up the trend in those days was the teddy bear. These were a dream of every Edwardian Child during Christmas. Carols were usually sung on the piano to provide a perfect ending to the Christmas day.