Christmas card, Anonymous

Christmas card, Anonymous

A Happy New Year to You
Christmas card
19th century
Chromolithography with cut paper work and embossed borders
Museum no. E.2029-1953

Seven children gathered beneath the boughs of a Christmas tree. Its branches are filled with candles, toys and flags.

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.