Just a few historical tidbits today about Christmas in America:
- Celebrating Christmas in early America was a big no-no. Puritans strictly forbade the celebration and anyone guilty of exhibiting Christmas spirit (mentioning St. Nicholas, gift giving, candles or singing) was fined five shillings. That was in Massachusetts. By contrast, the Virginia colonists enjoyed their celebration of Christmas – the first mention of eggnog was made by Captain John Smith in 1607.
- Dutch immigrants brought the legend of Sinter Klaas to America and gift giving was part of their celebration.
- The first Christmas after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, December 25, 1789, Congress was in session.
- Although a few states declared Christmas as a holiday in the 1800s – Alabama in 1836 and Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838 – the federal holiday was not enacted until June 26, 1870.
- Cartoonist Thomas Nast began drawing depictions of Santa Claus for the Christmas edition of Harper’s Weekly in 1863. Abraham Lincoln asked Nast to draw Santa with Union soldiers to perhaps demoralize the Confederates – a little psychological warfare?
NOTE: I’m taking a break from daily posts for a few days – maybe one here and there but back to daily articles after the first of the year for sure. Everyone have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!