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 Music

Taylor Swift picks up 2 new chart records with ‘Shake It Off’

Fresh
taylorswift

The star's new single, "Shake It Off" is expected to debut at No. 1 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 countdown.

in Entertainment, Sports

CBS Sports to air all-women sports talk show

cbssports

CBS said Tuesday the weekly hour-long, prime-time program on the cable channel will be the first of its kind.

in Music

Naomi Judd selling memorabilia for charity

judds

Among the items up for sale is the outfit she wore to the '91 ACM Awards, where she picked up the Top Vocal Duet award with daughter Wynonna.

in Entertainment

Mike Epps confirmed to play Richard Pryor

epps

The long-awaited biopic appears to be moving forward with some big casting news just announced.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Taser photoshoot

14-overlay7

Ever wonder what it looks like when people get shocked with a stun gun? Have a seat in this photo booth and see for yourself.