PEI

Victorian Christmas traditions on display at Beaconsfield Historic House in Charlottetown

Visitors to Beaconsfield Historic House in Charlottetown this holiday season will be stepping into a Victorian-era scene as they take in evocations of Christmas in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

'When you work in a historic house, it really ups the ante on Christmas celebrations'

Christmas table display at the Victorian Christmas tour at Beaconsfield Historic House in Charlottetown. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

Visitors to Beaconsfield Historic House in Charlottetown this holiday season will be stepping into a Victorian-era scene as the facility offers evocations of Christmas in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

The P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation is presenting hour-long interactive guided tours on Dec. 10, 16 and 17, to showcase the sorts of traditions the original residents of the house would have enjoyed around this time of year.

Caitlyn Paxson, who works for the foundation and has been developing the holiday programming at the museum, said she will be in costume to walk folks through the tour — capping it off with a treat made from a historic recipe and the sound of carols played live on a harp.

"When you work in a historic house, it really ups the ante on Christmas celebrations," she said. "I always find myself decorating and making cookies and doing all these things sort of focused on Victorian Christmas well in advance of the holiday itself, so I find that it definitely gets me into the holiday spirit."

Some holiday traditions that those who celebrate Christmas enjoy have been shaped by those that date back to the Victorian era, Paxson noted.

Museum interpreter Caitlyn Paxson plays the harp. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

As the museum's interpreter and programmer, she said she tries to create experiences that help people understand the connection of the past to the present.

"We tend to think of [the past] as being way, way distant from us, but it's actually much closer than we necessarily like to think," she said. "I just always hope that by providing that connection for people, that it helps to give everyone a more holistic view of the world."

More information and online ticket sales are available on the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation website.

The P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation aims to showcase the sorts of holiday traditions the house's original residents would have enjoyed around this time of year. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mikee Mutuc is a reporter and producer with CBC P.E.I. She was previously based in Toronto, and has worked on stories for CBC's The National, CBC's Cross Country Checkup, CBC Toronto and CBC Kids News. She graduated with a bachelor of journalism degree from Humber College in 2019. You can email story ideas to: Mikee.Mutuc@cbc.ca.

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