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.

News

in National

U.S. officials: Military mulling more troops to Iraq

obama

Military planners are weighing the possibility of sending more troops to Iraq to provide additional security around Baghdad.

in National, World

Obama: Beheading ‘shocked the conscience’ of the world

isis

The beheading of James Foley was said to be in revenge for U.S. air strikes against the Iraqi insurgents.

in National

Attorney General visits racially-charged Ferguson, protests continue

ferguson

The prosecutor's office will begin presenting evidence to a grand jury investigating the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.

in National

All hostages freed in overnight Chicago-area standoff

chicago

Two suspects have been arrested after holding eight people - including six children - hostage for nearly 24 hours.

in Entertainment

‘Game of Thrones’ star is ‘strongest man’

game

The man who plays Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane is Europe's "Strongest Man."