Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Christmas Carol

Do you know how responsible this tale was for making Christmas the way it is today? Lots of generosity, sharing, giving and love.

English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, 'A Christmas Carol'. The story's message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits if celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and-gifts on their children without appearing to 'spoil' them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

2 comments:

Julianna Sage said...

Interesting post! Most of our Christmas traditions come from pagan folklore, including the tree, the yule log and event santa claus. In truth, the celebratoin of the birth of Christ was moved to December to accomodate the resisting pagans and to more closely resemble their Winter Solstice & Yule celebrations. As you pointed out, a great mesh of traditions resulted - and a wonderful time to share love and food and gifts!

Pixie said...

Great article, Lorelei. It brings all the changes and additions to the holiday together in one place and shows just how much society can affect the future.

Hope you enjoyed your holiday.

Pixie