How Did Victorians Decorate Their Homes for Christmas Outside

How did Victorians decorate their homes for Christmas outside? The Victorian era is known for its elaborate and festive approach to holiday decorations, both indoors and outdoors. In this article, we will explore the enchanting world of Victorian outdoor Christmas decorations, from the use of greenery and wreaths to the tradition of outdoor Christmas trees. Join us as we step back in time to discover the timeless charm and elegance of a Victorian Christmas celebration.

During the Victorian era, Christmas was a time of lavish decorations and grand festivities. The exterior of homes was adorned with an array of decorative elements that brought joy and merriment to all who passed by. From garlands and wreaths to candles and lanterns, outdoor Christmas decor played a significant role in creating a magical holiday atmosphere. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of Victorian outdoor Christmas decorations and the traditions that continue to inspire us today.

In addition to exploring the various elements of Victorian outdoor Christmas decor, we will also uncover the role of snow and ice in creating enchanting winter scenes during this period. Furthermore, we will delve into the outdoor festivities and entertainment that were an integral part of Victorian Christmas celebrations. Join us on a journey through time as we rediscover the splendor of a Victorian Christmas through its outdoor decorations.

Victorian Outdoor Christmas Decorations

During the Victorian era, homes were decorated both inside and outside to celebrate the festive season. One popular way that Victorians decorated their homes for Christmas outside was by using greenery, wreaths, and garlands. The use of evergreen foliage such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe was a common practice to bring nature into their outdoor decorations. These greens were fashioned into wreaths to hang on doors and windows or woven into garlands to drape around the exterior of their homes.

Another prominent feature of Victorian outdoor Christmas decorations was the inclusion of candles and lanterns. People would place lit candles or lanterns in their windows or on outdoor wreaths and trees to add a warm and inviting glow to their exterior décor. This practice not only added light to the outdoor spaces but also symbolized hope and warmth during the cold winter nights.

In addition to greenery and candles, outdoor Christmas trees played a significant role in Victorian decorations. Families would decorate trees with homemade ornaments, fruits, nuts, and small gifts which were later enjoyed by family members after being displayed outdoors. The use of natural elements in outdoor decorating reflected the Victorian interest in nature and rustic aesthetics during Christmastime.

Victorian Outdoor DecorationsDescription
GreeneryThe use of holly, ivy, mistletoe in wreaths and garlands for exterior decoration.
Candles and LanternsPlacing lit candles or lanterns on outside wreaths and trees for warmth and hope.
Christmas TreesDecorating outdoor trees with homemade ornaments, fruits, nuts, and small gifts.

The Tradition of Candles and Lanterns in Victorian Outdoor Decor

During the Victorian era, outdoor Christmas decorations played a significant role in bringing the festive spirit to the exterior of homes. One of the key elements of Victorian outdoor decor during Christmas was the use of candles and lanterns to illuminate the surroundings. This tradition added a warm and inviting glow to the outdoor spaces, creating a magical ambiance for both residents and passersby.

Victorian Outdoor Decorations with Candles and Lanterns:

  • Candles were commonly used in Victorian outdoor decor, often placed in windows or lining pathways and driveways. The soft flickering light added an enchanting touch to the exterior of homes.
  • Lanterns were also prevalent in outdoor Christmas decorations, especially around doorways and entry points. These decorative lanterns would often be adorned with festive greenery such as holly or ivy for a charming holiday look.
  • In addition to traditional candles and lanterns, some Victorian households even displayed elaborate candelabras or chandeliers outside their homes, further enhancing the enchanting atmosphere with their glittering lights.

The allure of candles and lanterns as part of Victorian outdoor Christmas decor not only provided illumination but also symbolized hope and warmth during the winter season. This timeless tradition continues to inspire modern-day outdoor holiday displays, with many homeowners incorporating candlelit lanterns into their Christmas decorations today. The radiant glow of these classic elements adds a touch of nostalgia and elegance to outdoor spaces, reminiscent of the cherished traditions from the Victorian era.

The Allure of Victorian Outdoor Christmas Trees

The Victorians were known for their elaborate and festive Christmas decorations, and this certainly extended to the exterior of their homes. Outdoor Christmas trees were a popular feature of Victorian holiday décor, adding a touch of magic and wonder to the outdoor landscape. Here are some key elements of how Victorians decorated their homes for Christmas outside, specifically focusing on the allure of outdoor Christmas trees:

  • Victorian Outdoor Christmas Trees: The Victorians embraced the tradition of decorating evergreen trees with ornaments, just as we do today. However, they took it a step further by also adorning outdoor trees with ribbons, garlands, and even small gifts. This practice added an enchanting and whimsical atmosphere to their outdoor spaces.
  • Illumination: Just as indoor Christmas trees were lit with candles or lanterns, Victorian outdoor Christmas trees were also illuminated in a similar fashion. Candles were carefully placed on the branches or hung in decorative holders to create a warm and inviting glow.
  • Gatherings Around the Tree: Outdoor Christmas trees often served as a focal point for gatherings and festivities during the holiday season. It was not uncommon for friends and family to gather around the beautifully decorated tree for caroling, storytelling, and other merry activities.
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Victorian outdoor Christmas trees continue to influence modern-day holiday décor. Many people today still decorate their outdoor spaces with illuminated trees adorned with festive ornaments and garlands, paying homage to the enchanting traditions of the Victorian era. The allure of outdoor Christmas trees from that time period has created a lasting legacy that is still cherished during the holiday season today.

Outdoor Festivities and Entertainment During the Victorian Era

During the Victorian era, outdoor festivities and entertainment played a significant role in Christmas celebrations. This was a time when people gathered to enjoy various activities and entertainments outside their homes, adding to the festive atmosphere of the season.

Outdoor Games and Sports

Victorians enjoyed spending time outdoors, and during the Christmas season, they engaged in various games and sports. Popular activities included ice skating, sledding, snowball fights, and even organized games such as tug-of-war and sack races. These outdoor activities provided a fun and active way for families and friends to bond and enjoy each other’s company during the holiday season.

Street Caroling

Another beloved tradition during the Victorian era was street caroling. Groups of carolers would go from house to house singing traditional Christmas carols, spreading joy and cheer throughout the neighborhood. This outdoor entertainment brought communities together as they shared in the spirit of the season through music and song.

Outdoor Performances

In addition to street caroling, Victorian communities often organized outdoor performances such as plays, pageants, or even puppet shows. These events provided opportunities for people to come together and celebrate the holidays with theatrical entertainment in public spaces. Outdoor performances were a communal experience that added to the festive spirit of Christmas celebrations in Victorian times.

The tradition of outdoor festivities and entertainment during the Victorian era not only brought joy to communities but also contributed to creating lasting memories of Christmas celebrations during that time. These traditions have left a lasting legacy on how we continue to celebrate Christmas today, with many modern-day outdoor festivities still reflecting elements of Victorian entertainment.

The Role of Snow and Ice in Victorian Outdoor Decorations

During the Victorian era, the use of snow and ice in outdoor Christmas decorations was a common practice. Since the Victorians loved to embrace nature and the changing seasons, they would often incorporate natural elements such as snow and ice into their outdoor decor. This added an element of authenticity and whimsy to their holiday displays.

One popular way that Victorians used snow and ice in their outdoor decorations was by creating makeshift snow sculptures in their gardens or on their lawns. These could range from simple snowmen to more intricate designs such as animals or even entire scenes from popular Christmas stories. Additionally, they would often adorn these sculptures with natural elements like pinecones, holly sprigs, or berries for added color and texture.

Another common way that Victorians incorporated snow and ice into their outdoor decor was by creating ice lanterns. These delicate, glowing structures were made by freezing water in various sizes of molds and then inserting a candle inside before the water fully froze. Once lit, these ice lanterns would create a warm, inviting glow that added a magical touch to any Victorian outdoor Christmas display.

Victorian Outdoor Christmas FeaturesDescription
Snow SculpturesCommonly featured in Victorian gardens or lawns, adorned with natural elements like pinecones or holly sprigs
Ice LanternsMade by freezing water in various molds and inserting candles inside for a magical glow

Victorian Outdoor Entertaining and Feasting

The Victorian era was a time of grand outdoor entertaining and feasting, especially during the Christmas season. The tradition of gathering friends and family for outdoor celebrations was a popular way to mark the holiday season. Victorians spared no expense when it came to hosting extravagant parties, creating an enchanting atmosphere through their lavish decorations and delectable feasts.

Elaborate Outdoor Feasts

During the Victorian era, outdoor feasts were a common way to celebrate Christmas. Elaborate banquets were set up in gardens and courtyards, complete with tables adorned with festive linens, fine china, and gleaming silverware. Roast meats, seasonal vegetables, and rich desserts were served in abundance to guests, creating a feast fit for royalty. The focus on lavish dining experiences extended beyond the food itself; sophisticated table settings and ornate centerpieces added to the festive ambiance.

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Victorian Outdoor Entertainment

Entertainment played a significant role in Victorian outdoor Christmas celebrations. Hosts went to great lengths to ensure that their guests were entertained throughout the festivities. Outdoor games such as blind man’s bluff and musical chairs were popular activities during these gatherings, allowing guests to enjoy lighthearted fun amidst the holiday cheer. Additionally, live music performances and theatrical productions often took place outdoors, bringing an extra layer of merriment to the celebrations.

The Importance of Lighting

In order to create an enchanting atmosphere for their outdoor gatherings during the Christmas season, Victorians utilized various forms of lighting. Candles and lanterns were strategically placed around outdoor spaces to illuminate the festivities after dark. The warm glow cast by these lights added a magical touch to the surroundings, enhancing the overall experience for guests as they reveled in the joyous occasion.

The Victorian tradition of elaborate outdoor entertaining and feasting has left a lasting impact on modern-day Christmas celebrations. Many contemporary holiday gatherings continue to incorporate elements of grandeur reminiscent of those seen during the Victorian era, paying homage to this bygone period through opulent decorations and sumptuous feasts enjoyed in outdoor settings.

The Modern-Day Influence of Victorian Outdoor Christmas Decorations

The Victorians had a significant influence on modern-day outdoor Christmas decorations, as many of their traditions and styles continue to be popular today. One of the most enduring legacies is the use of greenery, wreaths, and garlands to adorn the exterior of homes during the holiday season.

In Victorian times, evergreen boughs such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe were commonly used to add a festive touch to outdoor spaces. Today, many people still follow this tradition by hanging wreaths on their doors and wrapping garlands around their porch railings.

Another enduring tradition from the Victorian era is the use of candles and lanterns in outdoor Christmas decor. Victorians would often place candles in windows or lanterns along pathways to illuminate their outdoor spaces during the holiday season. This practice has evolved into the use of string lights, electric candles, and other forms of decorative lighting that are now synonymous with modern outdoor Christmas decorations.

Additionally, the Victorian practice of decorating outdoor Christmas trees continues to be a popular tradition today. While indoor Christmas trees have become a staple in homes around the world, outdoor trees adorned with lights and ornaments have also become a beloved custom for many families. The influence of Victorians can be seen in this practice, as they were among the first to bring Christmas trees indoors and outdoors as part of their holiday celebrations.

Overall, it is clear that Victorian outdoor Christmas decorations have left an indelible mark on modern-day holiday traditions. From greenery and wreaths to decorative lighting and outdoor trees, the enduring legacy of Victorian decor continues to bring joy and festive cheer to homes around the world during the holiday season.


In conclusion, the Victorian era set the stage for many of the outdoor Christmas decorations and traditions we still embrace today. From greenery, wreaths, and garlands to candles and lanterns, the Victorians valued the beauty of nature and were inspired by its elements in their holiday decor. Outdoor Christmas trees also made their debut during this time, adding a sense of enchantment to the festive season.

The role of snow and ice in Victorian outdoor decorations cannot be overlooked, as these natural elements added a magical touch to the holiday ambiance. Furthermore, the Victorians are known for their love of entertaining and feasting, which extended to their outdoor festivities during Christmas time.

Today, we continue to see the influence of Victorian outdoor Christmas decorations in our own holiday celebrations. The use of greenery, candles, and outdoor trees as well as the emphasis on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere all stem from this era. The legacy of Victorian Christmas decorations continues to inspire us to bring warmth and joy to our outdoor spaces during the holiday season.

Overall, it is clear that how Victorians decorated their homes for Christmas outside has left an enduring mark on modern-day holiday traditions. Their love for nature’s beauty and emphasis on creating a warm and festive atmosphere have paved the way for our own cherished Christmas traditions today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Did People Decorate for Christmas in the Victorian Era?

People in the Victorian Era decorated for Christmas using traditional greenery like holly, ivy, and mistletoe. They also used handmade ornaments, candles, and small gifts on the tree. Decorations were often homemade or handcrafted.

How Do You Do a Traditional Victorian Christmas?

To do a traditional Victorian Christmas, one can start by decorating the home with greenery and handmade ornaments. It’s important to have a real pine tree as the centerpiece of the decorations and to incorporate natural elements like fruits and nuts into the decor.

What Were the Colors of the Victorian Christmas?

The colors of a Victorian Christmas were typically rich and luxurious, such as deep reds, greens, golds, and purples. These colors reflected the opulence of the era and were often used in fabrics for decorating the home during the holiday season.

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