Authentic Victorian Christmas Decorations Part 1

Well with less than 4 months to go I bet you are panicking about Christmas already…well maybe not!!

However if you wish to go an authentic Victorian Christmas now is the time to start.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

From Cassell’s Household Guide: A Complete Encyclopaedia of Domestic and Social Economy and forming a guide to every department of practical life. Volume 1 

If you want to create so authentic Victorian Christmas decorations then the place to turn to is a household guide of the time and Cassell’s is just one of many that would’ve been available to those who could afford it.

The materials to be used include all kinds of evergreens, everlasting flowers, and coloured and gilt papers.

It is a strange thing that, though mistletoe is used in the decoration of houses, not a sprig of it is put into a church. But in house decoration no Christmas would be thought complete if there did not hang in hall or dining-room a bunch of its curiously-forked leaves may be applied with excellent effect in wreaths, or overlapping one another in borders. The variegated aucuba makes a pleasing variety in the colour. Yews and arbour vita are useful; especially the small sprays of them, for covering the framework of devices. Myrtle and box also are pretty in narrow bordering’s, into which coloured everlasting flowers may be introduced.

The black bunches of ivy berries may sometimes be used with advantage, to give points of contrast in the decorations. Of course if chrysanthemum branches with their terminal pairs of nerveless pale-green leaves, and white crystalline berries. Holly is of course the special tree of the season. Its leaves bent into various curves, its thorny points, and its bunches of coral-red berries, make it the prince of evergreens.

Let it be conspicuous throughout the decorations. It is a good plan to strip off the berries, and use them strung in bunches, as the berries get hidden when the sprigs arc worked into wreaths and devices, and the berries, bent into little bunches, dotted about the festoons here and there, look very effective.

Ivy must be introduced with care. Small single leaves come in with good effect in small devices, or to relieve a background of sombre yew or arbor vita. The young shoots of the common ivy are best, or of the kind which grows up trees and old walls, which are very dark and glossy, with a network of light-coloured veins. Laurel is a very useful green in sprays, and the single

Christmas roses, primulas, and camellias can be obtained, the general effect is heightened and the decoration becomes more elaborate and more elegant.

The best wreaths for decorating the banisters of a house, or any pedestals, pillars, or columns, are those made in a rope of evergreen sprigs.

There are several ways in which such wreaths are made. One way is as follows: Get a rope or stout cord, of proper length, and a quantity of twine and a handful of evergreen twigs. Begin at one rope, which should be attached firmly to Dispose a bunch of the twigs round the rope, and tie them on with the twine; then dispose another bunch so that the leaves may conceal the stalks of those already on, and give the twine a turn round them, fastening it with a running knot, and so on until the rope is finished. This must be done at the fastening of each bunch of twigs. Another way very frequently adopted is, in place of a rope, to use only a piece of stout twine to run end of the something through the wreath, so as to prevent its falling to pieces, and, instead of twine to tie the twigs on, to use fine wire, which must be firmly twisted round the twigs.

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