In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony banned by law the celebration of Christmas as it was deemed to be a time of seasonal excess with no Biblical authority. Though repealed in 1681, it would not be until 1856 that Christmas Day became a state holiday in Massachusetts.
In this book Christmas Traditions in Boston, Anthony Sammarco outlines the celebration (or lack thereof) of Christmas in the first two centuries after the city was settled in 1630.
By the mid 19th century a German immigrant named Charles Follen introduced the Christmas tree to Boston, and shortly thereafter Louis Prang introduced his colorful Christmas cards, the first in Boston.
During the next century, Boston would see caroling and hand bell ringing on Beacon Hill, a Nativity scene and other traditional New England displays on Boston Common and in the many department stores, as well as the once popular Enchanted Village of Saint Nicholas at Jordan Marsh, New England's largest store.
What could have been better than after a day seeing Santa, the seasonal displays and lights on Boston Common than to enjoy a hot fudge sundae at Bailey's?
Christmas Traditions in Boston revisits the memories of the past and brings together the shared tradition of how Bostonians celebrated the holiday season.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over seventy books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history of his native city. His books Lost Boston, The History of Howard Johnson's: How A Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became a Roadside Icon, Christmas Traditions in Boston, and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have been bestsellers.