The 1860s arrived and once again the weather was the main point of focus at Christmas.
Most papers featured a Christmas supplement. This extract from the supplement in The Star gives some insight into what was on the menu for Christmas dinner. Geese, apple’s for sauce, mince pies, and plum pudding was all available at the Eastern market in Melbourne.
Along Main Road, Ballarat shopkeepers filled their windows with temptations.
Lewis Levy of Sturt Street Ballarat offered gifts for everyone, from field glasses to Parisian vases.
Christmas day 1862 was thought to be the quietest in Geelong for many years. The weather, though, was perfect for picnics at Barwon Heads or Queenscliff.
Things weren’t much better in Penshurst that year but Boxing Day was busy and there was, of course, the Penshurst Boxing Day races, still a tradition today.
Of course, comparisons with England were never far away. In 1869, the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser times ran a synopsis of a lecture by the Reverend Mr Clark “Christmas in old England, its customs and its carols”.
The last word comes from the “Poets Corner” from the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser about Christmas 1869. While “Touchstone” spoke of the “Southern summers” he missed the “jovial Christmas coming through the bracing cold”