How did the Pilgrims celebrate their first Christmas? Here’s a clue: The Puritans were against the singing of Christmas Carols.
Why? Because the Pilgrims were strict Puritans with religious views against holidays like Christmas and Easter. They found no Biblical justification for celebrating Christmas and associated such celebrations with pagan holidays. In fact, they dubbed Christmas “Foolstide” and went out of their way to work in the fields like any other day.
Here’s an article titled When Americans Banned Christmas, that discusses why they felt that the origin of Christmas was really from the pagan holiday of Mithra, which was an ancient Rome celebration for its sun god. In addition, the Puritans were incensed that some specific date like December 25 was assigned as a celebration of Baby Jesus, when they believed that his birth was probably closer to a September date.
The Puritans continual stand against Christmas never relented (Wikipedia) It is historically noted that Governor William Bradford took the following action:
On the day called Christmas Day, the Governor called [the settlers] out to work as was usual. However, the most of this new company excused themselves and said it went against their consciences to work on that day. So the Governor told them that if they made it [a] matter of conscience, he would spare them till they were better informed; so he led away the rest and left them.
It wasn’t until the 1800’s that Christmas was celebrated. In 1823, Alabama became the first state to declare Christmas a holiday. In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant declared it a federal holiday. Sometime thereafter, Target and Walmart had their first Christmas sale… Boom!
And for pic o’ day, another that I post each year and I still laugh when I see it: