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. Secret Service directior resigns

The White House seen from outside the north lawn fence in Washington

Julia Pierson has resigned amid security lapses at the White House.

in National

Rhode Island child with Enterovirus dies

cdc

A child hospitalized for less than 24 hours with Enterovirus D68 has died from the bacterial infection.

in National

U.S. experts hunt for Ebola exposure after first case

cdc

Experts are monitoring "a handful" of people potentially exposed through physical contact with the first patient diagnosed with the deadly virus in the U.S.

in Entertainment

Jimmy Kimmel is the Internet’s most dangerous man

kimmel

Searching for the late-night comedian may be hazardous to your hard drive.

in Entertainment

‘Rush Hour’ could be headed to the small screen

rushhour

The series will reportedly follow the style of the movies.