More Christmas History

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Christmas songs from Europe were sung in America for decades in the early 1800s.  In 1849 American composers began to write new Christmas songs in English.  The first Christmas carol was written in America by a minister, Edward H. Sears – “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”

James Lord Pierpont wrote a song in 1857 called – “One Horse Open Sleigh.”  The name for this song today is “Jingle Bells”.  When Pierpont wrote this song he originally intended it to be a Thanksgiving song.

In 1863 a minister named John Henry Hopkins wrote the song – “We Three Kings Of Orient Are.”  A lot of the songs written for Christmas were used in church hymnals.

From 1800 to 1850 –  Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers and other Protestants continued to regard December 25th as a day without religious significance, a day of normal business. During Reformation and up until 1850, Christmas was not celebrated, because partying and merry making was seen as unchristian.

In 1821 a book called, “The Children’s Friend” was written.  This was the first book written about Santa Claus.  It pictured Mr. Claus as a jolly old man from the North, who rode in a flying sleigh, pulled by one reindeer. (Apparently he gained weight over the years and needed to add more reindeer to pull his sleigh – Mrs. Claus must be a very good cook)

In 1823 a poem was written called – “A Visit From Saint Nicholas”.  The name of this poem was later changed to – “The Night Before Christmas.”

The bottom line:  There are conflicting stories everywhere about why Christmas is celebrated on December 25.  For many years, in numerous areas of the world, Christmas was celebrated on January 6. Today in America Christmas Day is truly a mix of religious celebration and commercial interests.

 

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Christmas History

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.

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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.

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