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

Influenza Carcass Disposal and Depopulation

Cherokee Landfill

Efforts are underway to dispose of bird carcasses killed by the Avian Influenza.

in Local

Path To Southwest Spencer Businesses

Updated
Highway 71

Many businesses on the southwest end of Spencer are seeing less traffic due to the Highway 71 detour.

in Local

Avian Influenza Friday

Bird Flu 1240

Two more probable cases of highly pathogenic avian Influenza have been found in Iowa.

in Local

Spencer Rusty Water

faucet

Spencer residents may be dealing with some rusty water over the next few days.

in Local

Bird Flu State of Disaster Extended

USDA Symbol

Des Moines, IA (KICD) — The State of Disaster Emergency connected to the avian flu outbreak has been extended. Iowa…