News

Christmas in Colonial America wasn’t always festive

Christmas in Colonial America wasn’t always festive

CHRISTMAS IN COLONIAL TIMES: The festivities weren't always so bright in early America. Photo: clipart.com

Christmas in America has become a mixture of both secular and religious themes, a time of joy, gratitude and celebration.

But in Colonial times, it was a different story.

Surprisingly little is known about how early Americans celebrated Christmas.

That’s because historians of the day spent their time chronicling politics and wars, not holidays.

But it is known that the early settlers of Virginia, Maryland and Georgia brought English customs with them, while in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the traditions of Holland, Sweden and Germany were carried on.

In New England, Christmas was long frowned upon. The Puritans associated it with the Church of England and the old-world customs they were escaping, including feasting, drinking and playing games.

Christmas and other holiday celebrations were banned in Massachusetts from 1659 until 1681. A law was passed declaring that anyone who observed a holiday would be fined five shillings.

The first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday was Alabama, in 1836.

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos

Watch this amazing 35-foot tall ‘Slip and Slide’

Fresh
17-overlay4

This makes us want to hit the water right now!

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Obama calls Trump

Fresh
25-overlay1

The President tries to give The Donald (played by Jimmy Fallon) some debate advice but the whole thing quickly falls apart into auto-tuned madness.

in Music, Entertainment

Gwen and Gavin are calling it quits

gwengavin

Is "The Voice" ruining marriages?

in Viral Videos

When a giant crane lands on your house

Updated
24-overlay2

Two construction cranes and a portion of a bridge being replaced in the Netherlands came crashing down, landing on nearby homes.

in Music

Fans, family mark 20th anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death with #RippleEffect

20-overlay1

The daughter of late the Grateful Dead frontman has launched a global art project to honor her father.