History of Christmas in America

Christmas is a holiday widely celebrated around the world. Apart from giving Christmas hampers and special Christmas gifts to relatives and friends during this season, Christmas are also known to be a busy season for those who love to decorate. Different Christmas decorations and ornaments are sold from stores as the holiday season starts. Many businessmen also take advantage of the season to offer different Christmas holiday deals for their Christmas gift baskets, luxury Christmas hampers and flower arrangements.

Now, there are history behind every celebration and holiday. If you would like to know the history of Christmas celebration in United States of America, then read on and enjoy this short Christmas trivia and information.

It was not until the late 1800s that Christmas was embraced by the Americans as a federal holiday. Not only was Christmas uncelebrated; it was even outlawed at some point. This unfavorable feeling by Americans against Christmas can be traced back to events in England in the 1600s.

During Civil War

During the English civil war in mid-1600s, Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans vowed to completely renew the system. Christmas being a part of the old order, was abolished as part of their efforts to get rid of the previous regime.

Neither the English separatists believed in Christmas. When they came to American the 1620s, they did not celebrate Christmas at all. In 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston, issuing a fine of five shillings to anybody who exhibited the Christmas spirit. The trend continued until events in the 19th century prompted the Americans to take interest in the Christmas holiday

In 19th Century

American the early part of the 19th century was characterized by class conflict and unrest. The economy was bad and riots occurred mostly during the Christmas season. New York responded to the Christmas riots by instituting its first police department. The upper classes on the other hand experimented with the potential of Christmas as an institution of peace amidst a period of economic and social turmoil.

Washington Irving and his role in Christmas History in US

When Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Americans’ view of Christmas changed dramatically. The book was a collection of stories which depicted a Christmas celebration in an English manor, where a squire welcomed some peasants to celebrate Christmas with him. The picture contrasted with the social situation in America where people were divided into warring classes.

Before the Civil War

Before the American Civil War, Americans from North and South differed greatly in their attitudes towards the issue of Christmas. Northerners viewed the Christmas celebration as sinful and considered Thanksgiving more proper. By contrast, Southerners received Christmas as an important holiday.

Christmas customs started to spread across America in the few years after the American Civil War. Children’s books, Sunday school classes and women’s magazines all played an important role in spreading the traditions of Christmas during those years.

By late nineteenth century, Americans had received the Christmas season with enthusiasm. They started decorating Christmas trees, sang Christmas carols, exchanged Christmas gifts, Christmas cards and prepared festive Christmas meals and Christmas recipes. With the influence of media advertising and marketing, the celebration of Christmas developed into the way it is today.

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