Christmas at Whitten House. The tradition of bringing greenery and light into the house during the solstice, the darkest time of the year, is ancient, predating Christianity by thousands of years. The tradition was largely lost in northern Europe by the 19th century except in some Germanic communities.
Following her marriage to German Prince Albert, England’s Queen Victoria reintroduced the Christmas tree to Britain when an engraving was published in 1848 featured the Queen, the Prince, and their children decorating a tree.
This was just five years after Charles Dickens had published “A Christmas Carol,” introducing the world to Mr. Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and the ghostly Christmas Eve visitors to Scrooge’s chamber. Between Dickens and Prince Albert, Christmas as we know it was born.
The Victorian tradition lives on at our old house. In normal times we hold an open house for family, friends, and neighbors to share the spirit of the season. We are foregoing the event this year since gathering a large number of people together doesn’t seem wise, so I’ll share a bit of the splendor of Whitten House decorated for the holidays here with all of you.
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