Our ancestors, most of british roots would have come to this country not having known such pomp and celebration and therefore Christmas would have been much like any other day.
In 1848 the Illustrated London News published a drawing of the Royals decorating a Christmas tree, a tradition well known to the German prince but new to Victoria.
The British were quick to catch on. In a few years those of British heritage in Canada would follow suit.
This was the beginning of the Age of Industrialisation and technology became more advanced at a rapid pace making colour printing more accessible to the population at large. Cheap postage also made it possible for people to send cards to friends and family. In1880 the card industry produced 11.5 million cards and boosting the commercialisation of Christmas.
Our ancestors were very loyal to their British heritage and the traditions of the Brits, soon caught on in North America.
Gifts were also not a tradition of our ancestors, but that too caught on. Originally, gifts were meagre and consisted of nuts and sweets that where hung on the Christmas tree. We all know how that has evolved. The large gifts that followed were too large to hang on the tree and were therefore placed under it.
I remember my grandmother actually served goose at Christmas but that too fell to the wayside as turkey became popular in Victorian England. It was not popular in Canada until the late 19th and early 20th century.
And so the traditions of Christmas as we know it today, are really not that old. It was the Victorian’s that promoted it as a family event, where all got together to sing carols, and spread charity, goodwill, happiness and peace to fellow man.
This is the true spirit of Christmas and 2015 is a year we should refocus on its true meaning.
“Four pound boiled beef, chopped fine, and salted; six pound of raw apple chopped also, one pound beef suet, one quart of wine or rich sweet cider, one ounce mace, and cinnamon, a nutmeg, two pounds raisins, bake in paste No. 3 three-fourths of an hour.”