Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Victorian New Year

Happy New Year, dear friends!
I have another postcard/trade card illustrated post for you! 
(All ephemera is from my personal collection unless otherwise noted.)



As we listen to the bells ring out the old year and ring in the new while the clock strikes twelve...



let us prepare for our Victorian New Year's Day open house. 

(Over a century ago New Year's day, rather than New Year's eve, was the time for gala entertaining and Open Houses, usually held from noon until six p.m. Tradition held that all the ladies of a family, and all boys under the age of ten, stayed at home to receive callers while the gentlemen went out to pay visits.)

Look, our first visitors of the day are here. Oh, what fun!


(photo from Victorian Family Celebrations by Sarah Ban Breathnach)

I'm so glad they brought their precious children along, it makes for such a delightful and eventful day, and...


   
    
they can take part in our New Year's Day birthday celebration later when my husband gets back from paying his visits! 
(It really is my husband's birthday and my daughter turns 13 on the 6th.)



Speaking of paying visits, arriving next door is a sleigh full of bachelor's, they have come to drop off their younger siblings and pick up a few more bachelor's so they can go and pay visits to all the eligible young ladies in town!



Newspapers would even print lists of the homes that would be open and the hours they were receiving visitors. The only requirement for admission was a calling card.
The below card has a little flap that says "Only Happy Hours" with the name of the young man being August H. Rux. 
               (Hmmm...sounds a little romantic, don't ya think?)



and when you open the flap you see a cute little photo of the young man who has come to pay a visit.



Upon arrival the young man would be introduced to the eligible women of the household, under the watchful eyes of parents and relatives. 
Not surprisingly, the custom quickly became sport. Young men would try to rack up as many as 50 calls a day (being more interested in becoming intoxicated than in meeting their hosts' eligible daughters)! Young women would angrily collect calling cards as if they were butterfly specimens! By the late 1880's the hospitality of the day had been so abused that opening up one's house on New Year's Day to strangers was snuffed out by social disapproval. During the 1890's the tradition of New Year's Eve open houses evolved into "family calls" and receptions for invited guests only. After WWI, the custom of New Year's Day "calling" disappeared and New Year's Eve parties became the popular thing to do. 
(above info from Victorian Family Celebrations by Sarah Ban Breathnach)


With the New Year came wishes of prosperity, good fortune and good luck. Depicting as symbols of good luck on the above postcards are the steamboat's pilot wheel, a wishbone and a horseshoe.

Below is my New Year's greeting to you, the angels depicting each of you, my sweet blogger friends.



I want to thank each and every one of you for following and reading my blog this past year and for your friendship. I get so much joy and inspiration from reading your blogs, I hope you get that from mine as well. From my house to yours, have a blessed 2013!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Please come in out of the cold and join me in Yuletide song as I show you some of my Christmas decorations...

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, With lush green boughs unchanging-
green when the summer sun is bright, and when the forest's cold and white. 

(This is my feather tree that was featured in this years Victorian Homes Christmas issue.)
To see that post click here.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, with lush green boughs unchanging! ...


Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la!


"Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la, la la la la! ...


Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King.


Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room, And Heav'n and Nature sing, And Heav'n and Nature sing,
And Heav'n, and Heav'n and Nature sing.

(the bird is an antique little paper booklet called "The Christmas Chirp". It has a really cute story inside. The hummingbirds and nest dome was an Ebay find several years ago.)

Hark! The herald angels sing, ...


"Glory to the newborn King! Peace on Earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful all ye nations, rise! Join the triumph of the skies. With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

(The above manger scene is Hallmark, 1988 and 89. The camels are bone china. The vintage angels are an auction find and are like a paper mache material and marked Germany, they are very delicate and so sweet!)

Angels we have heard on high, Sweetly singing o'er the plains;


And the mountains, in reply, Echoing their joyous strains:


Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria in excelsis Deo! 
Come to Bethlehem and see, Him whose birth the angels sing.
Come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, our newborn King.

(the above manger tucked in the branches is a Sunday School craft that my son made when he was little)


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head. 
The stars in the heavens looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep in the hay.


(below is a message from me, not a song)

In the midst of all the hub bub and chaos of the season 
let us not forget that this little babe was born to save the world. 
Jesus is the reason for the season.

And now for the last song of the night.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, 
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

(Antique postcard from my collection.)

Glad Tidings we bring to you and your kin.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


I am linking up to the following parties...
AMAZE ME MONDAY with Cindy at DWELLINGS
INSPIRE ME TUESDAY with Marty at A STROLL THRU LIFE
A RETURN TO LOVELINESS with Kathy at A DELIGHTSOME LIFE
TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME with Marie Elena at OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME
HOME with Sandi at ROSE CHINTZ COTTAGE
WHAT'S IT WEDNESDAY with Patti at IVY AND ELEPHANTS
TREASURE HUNT THURSDAY with Pamela at FROM MY FRONT PORCH TO YOURS
HOME AND GARDEN THURSDAY with Kathy at A DELIGHTSOME LIFE