The Secret History of Christmas
Posted On Friday, December 4, 2015
Everyone has their own unique way of celebrating Christmas. For a certain blogger's family that involves a truly intense amount of food, particularly dessert, musicals (with riotous reenactments), and Chinese cuisine on Christmas Eve. One of the most amazing things about America that is especially exemplified in Asheville is the value of unique expressions and traditions. Some of Asheville's favorite traditions are detailed in last week's post Top 5 Ways to Christmas in Asheville.
Here We Come a Wassailing!
While Christmas has always been largely accepted as a religious holiday and a special day off in America, it was observed in the fashion of each family's cultural and religious preferences. For example, the Puritans celebrated with minimal, if any, festivities or gifts because the Bible doesn't reference it as a holy day. In fact, Christmas was not recognized as a national holiday until after the Civil War. The fumbling attempts of the nation to stitch itself back together were awkward at best and in the end with the rise of urbanization and industrialization, a central holiday to bond the regions of the country and the classes of society was crucial. Though this history may seem a bit cynical, what is more seasonally appropriate than a day set aside to promote unity and bring neighbors together as friends rather than people who just happen to live nearby? There are some aspects of Christmas, however, that have fought against repression, adapting to survive and stand the test of time. The most famous of these stalwart traditions is the great patriarch of our modern Yuletide celebration - Father Christmas.