The history of mistletoe: from naughty Georgians to a Victorian courting custom

By | December 19th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

Do you hang mistletoe in your home over the holiday season? Do you know that of all the holiday traditions that have both ancient and pagan roots that this is one is among the oldest? Or that it was ever-so-saucy Victorians that turned it into the kissing ritual as we know it today? The history [...]

The TRUTH about sugar plums

By | December 12th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era Celebrations|

The word “sugar plums” automatically puts me into a pure winter romance mood. And yet, like many if not most people, I don’t enjoy my holiday eating them. I have never bought or made them. And having done a lot of research on Christmas traditions from the past, although they are widely referenced, I can’t [...]

The unexpected romantic history of bobbing for apples

By | October 10th, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Era, Halloween, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|

There is more to the fall tradition of bobbing for apples than meets the eye! Did you know that it was used by adult party-goers in the Victorian era to flirt and find love? Or that one version of the game was a fire hazard? It didn’t start out as a children’s game, far from [...]

L. Frank Baum's Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

By | July 20th, 2021|Categories: Christmas, Entertainment, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , |

Did you know that Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum wrote an entire novel on the life and times of Santa Claus? I had never heard this before and came across a reference to it while doing some online research on the history of Mother Goose. The novel, The Life and Adventures of Santa [...]

Celebrating Easter in times of yore

By | April 3rd, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Era, Holidays, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

Happy Easter, everyone! All of us at Recollections hope that you have a beautiful weekend and we thank you for being readers and customers!  Easter is a pretty holiday, isn’t it? Pastels, baby animals, painted eggs, and chocolate, what’s not to love? While a lot of the mainstays of the holiday have stayed firm through [...]

Vinegar valentines – a look at Victorian cruelty

By | February 12th, 2021|Categories: Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: |

It has been such a fun year of writing for Recollections! About this time one year ago I did a lovely series on the delightful documentary A Very British Romance featuring one of my favorite historians, the fabulous Lucy Worsley. One of the things that I learned whilst watching the documentary is that at the [...]

A Victorian Christmas party

By | November 27th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

The Victorians knew how to celebrate Christmas! During the reign of Queen Victoria, the holiday grew more popular with each passing year, becoming a national holiday in America in 1870. A good majority of the traditions we enjoy today were either started or popularized during the late 1800s and early 1900s, though in some ways [...]

Victorian cocktails: The Golden Age of mixology

By | November 26th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , , |

The holidays are here, and boy, don’t we all need it? It’s been a year of struggles for all of us, and I can tell how much people are looking forward to being with their families and to enjoying some comforts as we wait for the fresh start of the new year. And some of [...]

The history of Advent calendars

By | November 22nd, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , |

Do you count down the days to Christmas with an Advent calendar? What kind? The Advent calendar is a holiday tradition with historic roots that seems to be increasing in popularity each year. There are now the beloved Trader Joe’s version, versions with tiny bottles of booze, luxury versions, numerous food Advent calendars, versions with [...]