By Kimberly Sevilla
Christmas comes a few days after the Winter Solstice, which falls on December 21 or 22. Ancient Romans, Egyptians, Celtic Druids, and Vikings decorated their homes and temples with evergreen branches during the solstice season as part of celebrations dedicated to various gods for the days becoming longer and spring returning. Objects like gold and silver balls, candles, and fruit and nuts were used as part of the decorations.
It’s Germany that is credited with the Christmas tree. It was common to have a tree in German and Dutch homes at this time of year, but most Americans thought it was an odd, pagan tradition and did not have Christmas trees. In fact, strict puritan laws forbade Christmas celebrations altogether. The laws were revoked by 1681, but Christmas was not celebrated in New England until the mid 1850s, when a large influx of German and Irish immigrants moved into the area. Southerners, however, always celebrated Christmas and considered it a holiday. More > >