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.

Local Headlines

in Local

I-90 Accident

Minnesota State Patrol

A Sherburn woman is injured in an accident on Interstate 90...

in Local

O’Brien County Accident

o brien county

A two vehicle accident results in possible injuries...

in Local

ILCC Trustees Recap

ilcclog

The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees met in Estherville Tuesday afternoon...

in Local

Fine Arts Center Bids Opened

finearts

The school board will take up acceptance of the bid for the fine arts center and auditorium project next month...

in Local

Spencer Death Investigation Concluded

Spencer Police 1280

The death of a young woman in Spencer Monday evening was the result of self inflicted injuries...