What’s on your Christmas tree?

I recently read this article by Alison Barnes in History Today. It describes how Queen Charlotte (Prinny’s mother) introduced the Christmas tree to England by setting one up at Windsor in 1800. It was decorated with “bunches of sweetmeats, almonds and raisins in papers, fruits and toys”. I wish I could locate a picture!

The article lists several examples of Christmas trees during the Regency and states that the tradition was “firmly established” by 1818, although information I’d read before indicated that Christmas trees were not that common during the Regency. The article goes on to say that by 1860 nearly every family of means had one. This makes me think that Queen Charlotte started the custom but perhaps it was Victoria and Albert’s famous tree of 1846 that made it universal.

Our own tree is a hodge-podge. At one time I had this vision of a designer tree and so I started a collection of blown and cut glass ornaments and made a bunch of crocheted snowflakes. But life evolved and so did the tree. I still enjoy my glass ornaments and my snowflakes, but I’m happy to let them share space with others: stuff my children have made (Q-tip snowflakes decorated with craft store “jewels”, Vaguely Identifiable Things made out of pipe cleaners and beads), my husband’s sports ornaments (featuring the Mets, Giants and Rangers), and a Star Trek shuttlecraft that plays a holiday greeting from Mr. Spock. It’s all good and I don’t miss the designer tree at all. 🙂

Do you have a Christmas tree? What are your favorite decorations?

Happy Holidays!


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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