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Diane Gaston | A Regency Christmas
Uncategorized / December 19, 2008

As an author of Regency Historicals, I love to imagine myself in Regency England. At this time of year that means imagining a Regency Christmas. The Regency (1810 – 1820) was the time period of the Napoleonic War, of literary greats such as Jane Austen and Lord Byron. Many familiar Christmas traditions–decorating Christmas trees, singing Silent Night, waiting for Santa Claus–did not emerge until the later Victorian times, but a Regency Christmas did have other traditions still celebrated today. Regency families decorated their houses with holly and ivy and evergreens of fir and pine. Mistletoe was hung and the tradition of a gentleman and lady kissing beneath it would have been part of a Regency Christmas. With each kiss the gentleman plucked a berry from the mistletoe. When the berries were gone, so were the kisses. Christmas was mainly a religious holiday during the Regency. Gifts were exchanged, church attended, and guests might be invited to Christmas dinner. At Christmas dinner a goose or turkey would be served. A Regency household would also serve a Christmas pudding that was made on Stir Up Sunday, the Sunday before Advent, and served on Christmas day. The pudding was a porridge of sugar,…