I received some information about the history of the Christmas holiday with my recent phone bill. I thought it was very interesting and would like to share it with everyone. Enjoy!
In the 4th century church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Since the date of His birth is not pinpointed in the Bible, Pope Julius I chose December 25th.
When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they owed to rid England of decadence and as part of their effort cancelled Christmas.
King Charles II was restored to the throne and with him came the return of the popular holiday.
The pilgrims – English separatists that came to America in 1620 – were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings.
By contrast in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.
After the American Revolution, English customs including Christmas – fell out of favor. In fact on Dec. 25, 1789 – the first Christmas under America’s new constitution – Congress was in session.
Christmas was not declared a Federal Holiday until June 26, 1870.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All.