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.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Electronic parking meters coming to Ithaca city streets

The City of Ithaca announced Thursday that it will enhance its parking enforcement program through the use of two new LIcense Plate Readers, which have been installed in the Community Service Officer vehicles.

The city will also start charging a $1.50 an hour for on-street parking, an increase of fifty cents.

in Local

Cuomo: Washington should consider Ebola travel ban

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke with "CBS This Morning" co-anchor Charlie Rose  about his new book and the state's response to the Ebola threat

Earlier this month, Cuomo said a ban wouldn't be effective.

in Local

New York preparing Ebola waste plan

ebolanurse-620x400

Preparations continue for any potential cases of Ebola that may hit New York State.

in Sports

Wild World Series: Perfect Royals, tested Giants

24-overlay3

Playoff-perfect Kansas City will meet San Francisco on baseball's biggest stage.

in Music, Sports

San Fran bans Lorde’s ‘Royals’ for World Series run

lorde

California radio stations have removed the chart-topping song from their playlists.