|Charles Dickens in 1842|
During the 1820s-1830s, there was a heightened interest in forgotten Christmas traditions. Many traditions such as Christmas Ghost stories, decorating trees, and carol singing.
The industrial revolution left families with more time and money to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Images of Prince Albert and his family celebrating Christmas, were published and republished, which further popularized forgotten Christmas traditions. Our celebrations today are a direct result of the Victorian celebrations. People sent Christmas Cards, went caroling, and even gave gifts.
Telling Christmas ghost stories was a popular Christmas tradition in the early and mid 1800s that has not survived to today. The most famous Christmas ghost story is by far, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was inspired to write a Christmas Carol when his father was imprisoned for debt and Charles had to work in a shoe-blackening factory among the poor. Seeing the poor working conditions coupled with the lack of Christmas celebrations among all people incited him to write about the forgotten traditions and greed.
Christmas ghost stories were widely popular in the 1830-40s, many writers wrote their own. Magazines of the time almost always included a ghost story in their issue for December. It is thought that the ghost story tradition originated from the celebration of the winter solstice, or Yule. The shortest day of the year was associated with the "death of the sun" and its "rebirth." The twelve days of Christmas also comes from traditional the Yule celebrations which lasted for 12 days.
Some Victorian Ghost Stories:
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
- A Christmas Ghost Story by Thomas Hardy.
- Two Ghost Stories from Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens.
- Winnie and Walter's Christmas Stories by Increase Niles Tarbox.
- A Ghost Story for Christmas by Dudley Costello