Planning an authentic, Victorian traditional Christmas dinner

Planning an authentic, Victorian traditional Christmas dinner

Here in the United States, the traditional Christmas dinner originated from the Victorian era in England. Anyone who has ever read Charles Dickens’ ?A Christmas Carol? can envision the mouthwatering details of the Cratchit?s holiday feast, from the steaming roasted goose to the flaming plum pudding dessert. 

While Queen Victoria is credited with virtually inventing the Victorian Christmas, Charles Dickens later revived the ideals and festive traditions associated with the holiday.

This year, celebrate history and treat your friends and family to an elegant, old-fashioned, Victorian Christmas.  Planning this traditional Christmas dinner requires some background knowledge about authentic Victorian themes, decorations, recipes, gifts and music.  Here are some classic Victorian recipes and decorations for Planning your Traditional Christmas Dinner.  For more resources, be sure to research Victorian Christmas


Christmas Trees, Yule Log and Home-Made Christmas Decorations:

The Christmas tree and Yule log were both first introduced in 1841 by Queen Victoria?s German husband, Prince Albert.  Victorian era families also decorated Christmas trees, hung wreaths and garlands on their front doors, and placed evergreen boughs on their holiday dinner tables.  Most decorations were home-made, consisting of evergreen, holly, dried flowers, and arborvitae.

The Roast Goose:

In Victorian England, the primary course of the traditional Christmas dinner was the roast goose; not the turkey.  Classic roast goose recipes included sage and onion dressing, cranberries, bread stuffing and apples. 

Mince Pies:

Made with mincemeat and spices, these pies were a significant part of the traditional Victorian Christmas.  According to Victorian custom, twelve different mince pies were eaten by families during the twelve days of Christmas.  Each pie had to be made by someone different.  Often, Mince pies were made in advance, and given to neighbors as holiday gifts. 


Queen Victoria and Prince Albert brought gingerbread cookies in vogue in Victoria era England.  The development shaped, tin cookie cutters during this time put a new twist into the tradition of gingerbread.  Victorian families made gingerbread cookies, and baked gingerbread ornaments which they hung on their Christmas trees.

Plum Pudding:

An essential traditional Christmas dessert, plum pudding is noted for its sweet spices, dried fruit and nuts, and suet.  The pudding is usually moistened with citrus fruits and alcohol such as brandy, then set aflame, and brought to the dinner table ceremoniously. 


Eggnog originated from Victorian era drink called posset which contained eggs and milk but also ale.  Today, there are a wide variety of eggnog recipes that generally includes milk, sugar, egg yolks, and heavy cream, and rum or other liquors.