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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Victorian Holiday Cards at Varner-Hogg

By Sue Miller, Varner-Hogg Plantation site manager

Last month, a group of creative, young visitors joined Varner-Hogg Plantation staff in celebrating the Christmases of the past by making authentic Victorian holiday cards based on examples from the 1800s.

During the craft, students learned that Christmas cards were not commercially produced on a large scale until the 1860s, and that many were small, homemade, and only printed on one side, like a postcard.  Cards also lacked the famous images of Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa commonly seen today, and were covered in ornate pictures of flowers, nature, and children, as well as elaborate bits of fabric, fringes, and tassels.

After comparing several card samples, our eager designers went to work making their own Victorian Christmas cards, complete with dainty embellishments of lace doilies, ribbons, feathers, birds, and even a picture of the Loch Ness Monster! Once each student placed the finishing touches on their creation, the group was treated to a batch of homemade cookies and cider provided by the Varner-Hogg Friends group, leaving everyone with full bellies and a unique memento to share with friends and family in the spirit of a 19th-century holiday season.

Varner-Hogg Plantation is located approximately 60 miles south of Houston and is part of the Texas Independence Trail Region.

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