ROMANOV FAMILY: FIRST CHRISTMAS AT THE ALEXANDER PALACE
Since 1904 Christmas holidays were celebrated at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo. Because the children’s rooms were on the second floor of the palace, on 24 December, the Christmas tree was set up for the first time “upstairs”. That same day, in the evening, the entire family rode to see Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna at Gatchina Palace. There, after vsenoshnaya, they had a general Yolka [Christmas party] downstairs. Around 11 at night, Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna returned to Tsarskoe Selo, where they had “our own Yolka, in Alix’s new room”.
One of Alexandra’s ladies remembered in her memoirs that the Empress had a minor Christmas quirk: “She unquestionably wanted to blow out the Christmas tree candles personally. She was proud that with a particularly strong flow of air she was able to blow out the very top candle”.