Christmas in Colonial America
The religious upheaval known as the Reformation divided sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Europeans on many religious issues, including the celebration of Christian feast days. The European immigrants who settled in the thirteen American colonies brought these controversies with them. Among colonial Americans, attitudes towards Christmas depended largely on religious affiliation. In general, Puritans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Quakers refused to celebrate the holiday. In areas of the country settled primarily by people of these religious affiliations, Christmas withered. By contrast, those who belonged to the Anglican (or Episcopalian), Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic traditions generally approved of the holiday. Communities composed primarily of people from these denominations planted the seeds of Christmas in this country.