Project Based Learning: A Very Victorian Christmas

Charlotte had the best time learning about how the Victorians celebrated Christmas and planning her very own Victorian Christmas.  She put hours and hours of research into this and it went swimmingly.  As Nik said, ‘Who else could say that they went to a steam punk Victorian themed Christmas party?’  It was very cool and very successful!

I will apologise in advance for the almost 40 photos.  I really wanted a record of the whole day and even with all the photos there is lots I have left out for the purposes of brevity (ahem).

The preparations included setting a Victorian Table and roasting a pig’s head.  This all happened the day before:


We made our own crackers again, decorated with oranges Thomas had dried for us in the oven and a cinnamon stick:


We used candles and mini poinsettias for the decoration:


Lillie had made lots of home made Victorian-like decorations for the tree:


Mum lent us her posh cutlery, and her punch bowl which was perfect for the Victorian fruit punch that Charlotte had planned:


Charlotte and I wrapped some oranges in red ribbon for all the children to take home, as was tradition in the Victorian times:


And the whole table:


Charlotte took on the job of preparing the hog’s head for roasting (you might want to scroll down if you are at all squeamish or vegetarian).  She had no such qualms, sending snap chat photos of said pig exclaiming how cool her school was!!


The first thing she did was singe of all the hair left on the head with a lit match:


Washed it with a scrubbing brush:


then with boiling water:


Covered the whole head with a mixture honey and water:


and popped it in the oven:


Cooked to perfection:


We also made mulled wine, home made cranberry sauce and a Christmas pudding:


By the time the guests arrived we were completely organised and ready for the festivities to begin.

First up was Victorian portraits for each family.  We attempted to be serious Victorians and to capture the essence of the Victorian portraits which were traditionally solemn affairs.  We failed miserably.  It was such a hoot and we were giggling the whole way through.  We did manage one or two photos though, in between the hysterics….

Our family.  Serious:




Not serious:



Nik’s Family.  Not serious.  At all.  Nik is such a trouble maker!   🙂


And then the children:



Yeah, serious was so not happening….


although the boys didn’t do so badly:



So much fun!

After the photos we all sat down to home made carrot soup and freshly baked rolls as our starters:


Then the main course of ham, pigs head, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce:




And lastly we set light to the Christmas pudding:


After we had finished all thing edible, we moved onto the singing of carols.  Thomas had organised this using the list of Victorian carols supplied by his sister:




Nik had brought a pass the parcel (she does this every year), so we played that quickly before moving on to the parlour games:


Parlour games included charades (of course):


Blind man’s bluff which they played outside and of which I took absolutely no photos of on account of tucking my little two into bed.  And lastly we played a new game to us called Consequences.  One person is chosen as an auctioneer whilst the others all place an item of value in the middle of the floor.  The auctioneer then picks one item and tries to sell it to the rest of us.  The one to whom the item belongs to then shouts ‘consequence!’ and asks for a consequence to do to win back said item.  Consequences range from eating a teaspoon of mustard (see Gary below), to acting like the opposite sex (hilariously carried out by C below), spending one minute telling the person to the right why you love them so much and giving a two minute talk on a topic decided by the rest of the gang:


This was a great game and absolutely one we shall include next Christmas.

Well, that’s it.  A Very Victorian Christmas brought to you by Charlotte aged 14.   Didn’t she do well?


  1. Love it! V impressed with Charlotte and the pig head. Not sure I could be that practical. I especially like the serious Victorian photo. Young B in particular looks very authentic. 🙂

  2. ‘Really enjoyed all the photos you shared of your project and celebration. You never cease to amaze me with the ideas you come up with.

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