Champagne, charlotte and crinoline
A Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s
Looking for a touch of class this Holiday season? Discover how styles dating back to 1867 are still in vogue 150 years later! Be charmed by the elegant Victorian decor featuring miniature fir trees, handmade cards and of course, champagne.
It’s Christmas, 1867; the Confederation has just been formed, and festivities are in full swing at the Cartier home! All the latest trends in decoration, cooking and fashion are sought out to delight the guests. During your visit to the house, discover the history and unexpected origins of some of our still-current holiday traditions. If you’re looking to go out with friends or need a break from December’s hustle and bustle, come visit the Cartier house with its festive decorations. You can enjoy a hot drink by the fireplace, take a souvenir photo with charming period accessories, or make your own personalized holiday card
December 2 to 24
Week-ends, from 10 am to 5:30 pm
December 26 to 31
Every day, from 10 am to 5:30 pm
Closed on December 25
November 21 to December 22
Schedules as required and available
Costumed presentation in the Victorian house
Guides in period costumes will describe how the bourgeoisie in Montreal prepared for Christmas in 1867: how they decorated their homes, what they ate, what activities they did during the holiday season, etc. What’s more, short videos will explain the origins of the tradition of gift-giving and the history of Santa Claus - before he became a mascot for Coca-Cola!
A “personal stylist” brings Victorian accessories, and invites visitors to immortalize their image in a Victorian-style photography studio. Play the part and share a traditional kiss under the mistletoe, or have your photo printed in black and white!
Hot drinks by the fireplace: Wassail and Christmas tea
To escape the frenzy of December, take a break and enjoy a hot, old-fashioned drink next to the brazier. Discover wassail (a hot mulled English drink) and our new Victorian Christmas tea, specially created for the historic site by the Bon Thé Divine tea house, paired with a square of old-fashioned chocolate. Ambient music, fireplace, red chairs and blankets are waiting for you!
Victorian clothing exhibition
On the ground floor, an exhibition space will be dedicated to the fashion trends of the time. Victorian-style clothing will be exhibited to highlight the richness and artistry of Montreal fashion between 1860 and 1870. Beautiful dresses and clothing that resembles Cartier’s and his family wardrobe will be displayed in this temporary exhibition, for the holiday season only!
Kissing beneath the mistletoe
Mistletoe appears in many myths and legends. For some people, this plant with medicinal properties is both sacred and magic, and symbolizes love and forgiveness. According to popular belief, hanging mistletoe in the house during the holidays will give you luck for the ending and coming years.
Why not continue this lovely tradition dating back to 1867!
Imagine a country exhibition, Christmas version
The Imagine a country exhibition will also have a Christmas makeover. Come discover this participative exhibition where visitors are invited to become actors of change in society, and to share their vision of an ideal country and their end-of-year wishes.
You will also have the opportunity to vote for the traditions you think should be part of the holiday season.
Workshop: Handmade Christmas cards
A Victorian-style Christmas card workshop will be offered so you can take a moment to think about those close to you. Create your very own Christmas card and write your end-of-year wishes. You can keep your card or, as a special gesture, dedicate it to a lonely elder this Christmas. They will receive it through the organization Little Brothers during Christmas Day Celebrations.
For over 55 years, Little Brothers has welcomed and provided support to lonely elders by creating a caring, committed extended family around them, dedicated to alleviating their isolation and staying by their side throughout their remaining years. www.littlebrothers.ca
Do it at home!
At home, alone or with your family, you can make greeting cards and drop them to the National Historic Site when you visit us. They will also be given to the Little Brothers. To do so, download the file below and let your imagination run!
Christmas card (PDF, 825 KB)