Regency Christmas Traditions: Cloved Oranges

Excellent for Christmas, New Year’s…or a cold winter’s day stuck indoors. With the record cold blanketing such a large chunk of the US, I figured I’d post this today even though the Christmas season has already passed (except in the Orthodox Church–Merry Christmas to you tomorrow!). Cloving oranges is like a good way to pass the time (I did mine while listening to an audiobook), it’s easy enough for children to do, and the result will brighten up your house for weeks to come.

Start with an orange–any variety will do. I’ve also seen clementines, lemons, limes, and tangerines cloved.


Take a clove and push it into the skin of the fruit. The head of the clove with stick out a little (or a lot, depending on how big your cloves are). Repeat.


Continue cloving in any pattern you choose. I did mine like the stripes on a basketball (or the longitude lines on a globe), then filled in between them. But you could do spirals, snowflakes, circles, or whatever else takes your fancy.


My finished product: this year I cloved several oranges and put them in a basket in my sitting room. They spice up the air without the use of chemicals, air fresheners, or perfumes, so my house smells great and my asthma isn’t bothered.


Want more information on the historical significance of cloved oranges? Check out this post from There’s also a nice graphic for making cloved oranges you can hang.


Regency Christmas Traditions: Parlor Games

Article by Maria Grace. She has one husband, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, six cats, seven Regency-era fiction projects,  notes for eight more writing projects, cooks for nine in order to accommodate the growing boys, and usually makes ten meals at a time so she only has to cook twice a month.


Christmastide and the release of my new book are both coming soon upon us. To celebrate both, I am beginning a series on Regency Christmas traditions, possibly with a few of my family’s thrown in for good measure.

Regency Parlor Games pt. 1

Christmastide was a time for fun and frivolity. Parlor games made up a large part of the fun.

They were played by all classes of society and often involved overstepping the strict bound of propriety. Losers often paid a forfeit, which could be an elaborate penalty or dare, but more often were a thinly disguised machination for getting a kiss. Often, forfeits were accumulated all evening, until he hostess would ‘cry the forfeits’ and they would all be redeemed.

Here are a few of the games that might have been played during Christmas parties of the Regency.

Blind Man’s Bluff and variations there of

Many variations of this game existed, including Hot Cockles, Are you there Moriarty, and Buffy Gruffy. All the variations include one player being blindfolded and trying to guess the identity of another player who had tapped them or who they have caught. A great deal of cheating was generally involved, which only added to the sport.

Click here to read the rest of the article at Maria’s blog, Random Bits of Fascination.