Traditionally a time for gathering with family and friends, instead, the safest option is to stay home.
So, the Keating Agency takes this time to look at some holiday traditions and history in an effort to bring you some cheer.
Christmastime Not Always an American Holiday
History tells us that there really was a war on Christmas in the early American colonies. The Puritans sought to rid their society of anything remotely pagan. Since Christmastime had roots in the Roman holiday of Saturnalia and the Norse festival of Yule, they were not celebrated.
In fact, when the Puritans won the First English Civil War, Easter, Christmas, and saint’s days were banned.
However, many early Americans kept their traditions alive. After the English Civil Wars ended in 1681, pressure mounted to repeal the laws.
In fact, Christmas was not an official holiday in the United States until 1870. Still, it was a popular, if not a government-recognized holiday among mainstream Americans.
As a nation of immigrants, many Christmastime traditions come from the old countries. History says many of today’s common traditions have German origins, such as the Christmas Tree, Advent Calendars, candy canes, and gingerbread houses.
Of course, some more recent traditions were home grown in our North American continent. These include poinsettias, Elf on a Shelf, ugly sweaters, and the department store Santa.
Two traditions that originated in the United States are A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. They certainly are two of my favorites. They also are movies we can enjoy from the safety of our homes.
While traditions like the office holiday party and group caroling may be off limits this year, the Keating Agency hopes you continue to enjoy other traditions. Have a happy and safe holiday.