Christmas card, Anonymous

Christmas card, Anonymous

A Merry Christmas
Christmas card
Anonymous
Britain
19th century
Museum no. E.1925-1953

A boy and girl stand on either side of a potted Christmas tree which bears flags, floral wreaths, shoes and other ornaments.

Queen Victoria married the German Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha in February 1840. At Windsor Castle, the Royal family observed the German tradition of having a decorated evergreen tree in their home from 1841. The Queen's popularity led many in the British Empire to adopt the custom.

The origins of this practice lay with St Boniface who converted the Germans to Christianity. According to legend, St Boniface used the conical shape of a fir tree as an example of the Holy Trinity. Some believe that a miraculous fir grew on the spot where the Saint had chopped down an oak tree worshipped by pagans.

Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in 1843. Its enormous popularity led to a further increase of celebrations in private homes of the rich and poor alike. The growing tradition and its festivities centred around the Christmas Tree.

This card can be found in Print Room Box 3.