For the less wealthy and poor, the Victorian ear was the pinnacle of the Industrial Revolution in another way. With it came the detached monotonies of factory labor and a harder, bleaker life in the cities. In much the same way they served the Pre-Christian Germans, evergreen trees, wreaths and garland began to spread as an “old country” symbolic defense against the harsh realities of winter in an industrialized 19th century city. Most importantly, evergreens were used as a symbol of the holiday season, and a time for the philanthropy and good will that the Victorian era bestowed on the celebration thanks to writers and poets such as Clement Clarke Moore (“A Visit from St. Nicholas” or “The Night Before Christmas,” published in 1823) and Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol, published in 1843). Evergreen Christmas décor represented a shift in the emotional climate; away from the work houses and begging orphans, towards a warmer spirit of heart-felt benevolence and charity. Incidentally, the 'spirit' of Christmas is aroused from a Victorian Christmas tree in much the same way the spirit of the evergreen was enticed from a Yule tree in a pagan Germanic North.
Written by Jordan Dickie:
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