This well-illustrated lecture traces the development of the celebration of Christmas from the time it was outlawed in 17th Century New England through the beginning of the 21st Century when all the trappings of a traditional Christmas were in place. For many, the celebration of Christmas today is the most important holiday of the year. But many of the customs which we take for granted as part of the current holiday festivities and religious celebrations are actually a product of more recent history. The presentation will look at how Christmas was transformed from a rowdy celebration to a family centered event. Among the topics discussed are how the Christmas tree became popular, halls were decked, and Santa Clause came to town.
Kenneth C. Turino, Manager of Community Partnerships and Resource Development at Historic New England has published several articles on the history of Christmas and has a book in development. He speaks on the topic widely.