The 1890s newspaper reports of Christmas were very different to those of the other decades from the 1850s. Recipes and articles about decorating the home, hint to a greater female readership than other times. Finally, the arguments about English traditions disappeared as Australians formed their own Christmas traditions.
The editor of the Portland Guardian, welcomed Christmas 1890 as if to say “Here we go again”.
The editor continues with a reference to the 1842 editor of the same newspaper and the Christmas day activity of quoits.
Shop windows were once again dressed up by their owners, but only one grocer maintained the tradition of displaying dried fruits and spices.
The following is the first article I have seen on Christmas decorations in the home. It offers tips on Christmas trees and ideas on making decorations.
Christmas recipes became popular in the 1890s. The following for Santa Claus Baskets is from the Portland Guardian of 25 December 1895. Recipes for Whipped Snow and Plum Pudding were also included.
The 1890s saw the traditional beef finally lose favour on the Christmas menu. This article “What People Eat at Christmas” from The Argus, gives a real insight into the Christmas fare of the time. I have not included the entire article, which is worth reading in full. Times were changing.
To conclude this 19th-century overview of Christmas in Victoria, I must include the following article for anyone wondering if the 1899 Christmas was the last of the century. It comes a little further afield than Victoria as it appeared in the West Australian Sunday Times on 31 December 1899.