Welcome to December! My apologies for a month or so of EVGA silence. November has been a month of high activity and preparation for the Winter holidays among other things. I have always been a strong supporter of the idea that the Autumn and Winter holidays were meant to be savoured. I constantly hear how the last part of the year seems to fly by from October with its Hallowe'en planning through New Year. I agree, but not for any reason, in my opinion, other than that all the best holidays were saved up for the best seasons. With that in mind, I did hold off on babbling about Christmas in the hope that those who enjoy Thanksgiving and other Autumn holidays would take the time to revel in their russet-and-gold hued celebrations, enjoying every last moment of Autumn's glory before diving head- and heart-first into snowy Winter and its laundry list of events.
At this point, I should probably stop to apologize to my Irish family and friends, as
St. Patrick's Day is also a favourite holiday of ours, so in the name of consistency, we
will include it in the last fading fringes of Winter. I can get away with this since,
even though it is already getting quite warm by then where I am, the "Official" first day of Spring, also known as the Vernal Equinox, is not until April. See how handy that is?
So back to the holiday at hand: Christmas. And please also allow me to add here that
many of the ideas I hope to share in the 13 posts for the Holidays will often include
hints and decor appropriate for other Winter holidays in addition to Christmas. I
have two goals: To share ideas for a Victorianesque holiday, and to give it the same
sentimentally-haunted feel that is a mainstay for EVGA. My assumption is that if you
have come to this site for decorating ideas, you are not looking to do the same
trendy or cookie cutter decor that can be found on a thousand or more other
wonderfully-designed blogs and sites.
Tonight I would like to lay the groundwork from a Victorian standpoint with just a
little history and a link to a recent find that appeared in my email the other day,
screaming "Forward me on!"
To begin with, for anyone wishing to accomplish Victorianesque Christmas decor, you
are already a good portion of the way there the moment you put up your Christmas
tree. The decorated and illuminated tree is, according to most accounts, something
for which we can thank our dear Queen Victoria. While the evergreen is historically a
part of the holiday long pre-dating Victorian times and stories can be found linking
it to everyone from Martin Luther to the Germanic traditions of some of the first
Pennsylvania settlers, the grandeur of a sparkling evergreen surrounded by gifts can
be most easily attributed to the romantic images brought back to the U.S. from
Britain by dignitaries and writers after having witnessed Albert and Victoria's trees
at Windsor Castle.
Rather than attempt to summarize epic volumes of information on the subject, I
thought I would share both a website and a new iPad app developed by The British
Library that can provide all the Victorian Christmas indulgence one's heart can
Many here may already know about a wonderful online magazine called Victoriana
Magazine (www.victorianamagazine.com), so for those who have not yet become
acquainted, please, with my blessings, dive in, indulge and there you will find a
multitude of articles on all aspects of Victorian life.
The Victorian Christmas app, available through the iTunes store for $9.99, is created
by BiblioLabs and is a collection of Victorian books on everything from sons, to
poetry, plays to stories. It also includes traditional Victorian Christmas art. My
deepest apologies to anyone (like myself) who is not an iPad owner/user. I am holding
out hope for a non-iPad version for the rest of us. I have been feverishly digging
for something similar, but to no avail... Yet. Believe me, I will keep digging.
But for now...
And for the rest of us:
And with that, I am off to proofread the next couple posts and attempt to get decent
photos to go with them. Enjoy the site and anyone who gets the app, please, let me
know what you think.
Ta for now and I promise something MUCH more fun and creative next,