According to history . . . Before 1850 many U.S. citizens did not dream of Christmas at all.
The Civil War intensified the appeal of having Christmas. Citizens wanted a sentimental celebration of family. Peace and goodwill spoke to the prayers of Americans; especially soldiers who were fighting in the Civil War. Northern victory of this war in 1865 helped Christmas grow in popularity.
The Christmas Tree was a German tradition, brought to America by German immigrants. The year of 1850 there were large sales of Christmas Trees in America. The first tree decorations were: nuts, strings of popcorn or beads, oranges, lemons, candies, and home made trinkets. By 1870 imported ornaments from Germany were sold on street corners.
The first Christmas Cards were printed by R.H. Pease who was a printer and a variety store owner in Albany, New York. He sold and distributed the first American made Christmas Cards in the early 1850s.
Christmas gift giving blossomed in the 1870s and 1880s. Harper’s Magazine 1856 wrote – “Love is the moral of Christmas . . . What are gifts, but the proof and signs of love!”
Christmas officially became a federal holiday December 25, 1870. MERRY CHRISTMAS
I took these photos January 2016. Thought I would add a little color to this post with a male and female Cardinal.