October 14, 2011

In anticipation of the Christmas special (no spoilers, promise)

On Boxing Day, servants typically had the day off. They would open presents (usually money) from their employers. Sometimes employers would wrap pinnies around their waists and serve the servants Christmas punch (much like this).

The BBC has a video on Victorian parlour games (which I’m fairly sure would have been still around in WWI). However, the advent of commercialism changed Christmas forever from around 1900-1920, much of it in the way of decoration (a picture of a typical Edwardian Christmas living room is here, though we can expect Downton/Highclere to be a lot more lavish, I expect). 

And as for the food?

Delicacies on the Edwardian table included boar’s head and sheep’s tongues; if they don’t appeal, you could try another favourite — goose, which was far more common then than turkey. The bird would be stuffed with chestnuts, pork and apple stuffing and sprinkled with fat and salt, then served with apple, gooseberry and bread sauces instead of cranberry. (source)

There’s also a video on commercial cracker making.

17 notes
See Post tags #downton abbey #christmas

December 8, 2011

For those interested in the upcoming Christmas ball

See Post tags #downton abbey #Downton Abbey #christmas