A Dickensian Christmas🎄
I have seen A Christmas Carol almost every year on Christmas Eve since I was around 10-years-old. I have never, however, read the book. This year I decided to read the book to my children as our Christmas Season homeschooling novel study. (Side recommendation: Whenever we read stories for school I always check Learning Through Literature for a study guide. Their guides are awesome! They provide activities for each chapter and always include character building information, so you’re doing so much more than reading a story!). Because of our Learning Through Literature study guide we’ve been learning a lot about how Christmas was celebrated in Victorian England.
As I mentioned in my last post, DIY Wreath out of an Old Christmas Tree, I made a wreath out of my old Christmas Tree (😲you don’t say!😜). This week I’m going to show you how I decorated it to make it look like it hopped out of the Victorian Era!
A note on the decorations: Victorians relied heavily on things from the natural world to decorate, such as dried orange slices, birch bark, pinecones, berries and cinnamon sticks. They also used things that could be found around the home, such as paper and ribbon.
- Wreath (click here to see how I made my wreath)
- Natural Decorations. I used oranges and pinecones
- Christmas lights (optional)
- Glue gun and glue
- Decide on what things you would like to use, and acquire them. I found most of mine in a favourite forest for free, but if you don’t have the time, you can also pick them up at Michaels for exorbitant prices (10 small pinecones for $6😵). If you are using dried orange slices you’ll want to do that ahead of time too. I read many places that they only take a couple of hours in a low temperature oven, so I chose not to use my dehydrator (stupid, stupid decision). In reality it took about four hours, and I upped the temperature in a fit of frustration about halfway through, so I *bonus* burnt half of them. I don’t want to talk about it. My tip: slice VERY thinly, and bank on three hours, checking frequently after two. May the odds be ever in your favour.
- If you want lights on your wreath, now is the time to do it. I took the lights off of my old tree. My plan was to just shove the bulbs that weren’t working to the back, and that, I was sure, would do the trick. My husband passed through the kitchen as I was doing this, and he seemed rather disappointed by my choice. So, he brought up the remains of the old tree, and began finding on it the lights that still worked and inserted them where the burnt out bulbs were on the new one. He. Is. Awesome.
- Lay things out on your wreath so you have a general idea of what’s going to go where. Try many arrangements until you find something you’re happy with.
4. Glue on the ribbon first. I cut my ribbon apart and wrapped each strand around by itself so I wouldn’t waste all the ribbon that was hidden at the back. The reason you should do this first is so it doesn’t cover up any of your other decorations. This is especially important if your ribbon is wide.
5. Glue on everything else.
6. Plug it in and see how it looks!!
Here is our new Victorian Christmas wreath on the front of our house. My husband (to the rescue again🥰) hung it from the wall using a brick clip. If you have never heard of this, as I hadn’t, you can find your own on Amazon.
And here it is on the brick wall up close! Isn’t it gorgeous? I am so pleased with how it turned out. And, the very nice thing, is that my husband liked it even more than I did. Usually I have to ask him what he thinks of something. Not this time! He kept saying over and over again how great it is!