How did Foundation Fathers, steadfast in their Christian faith, celebrate Christmas in the late 1700s?
Oddly enough, according to Chuck Norris in his latest World Net Daily column, not much at all.
But Norris assures us that the Founding Fathers did not eschew the holiday because they cared little for the birth of Christ. Rather, their attitudes were a holdover of Puritan beliefs that rejected the corruption of the holiday in the Old World.
To the Puritans, Christmas had become a holiday of drunken revelry, overindulgence, and immorality. They were also uncomfortable with how the Catholic Church had chosen the pagan festival day of December 25th to celebrate Christ's birth on, and they actually banned all celebration of the holiday, the lighting of candles, or the the exchanging of presents on that day.
While the celebration of Christmas continued in the New World among Catholics and Anglicans, many American colonists felt the holiday was too closely associated with the British monarchy, especially during the Revolutionary War.
Over time, though, Christmas began to grow in popularity in America after it established the First Amendment, guaranteeing the free exercise of religion. The interest in the holiday grew more in the Southern states at first before gaining traction in the North after the Civil War. It wasn't until June 1870 that President Ulysses S. Grant declared it a federal holiday.
Christmas continues to be cherished among most Christians, but the effort to corrupt it that the Puritans experienced continues to this day — now more than ever.
Norris and his wife Gena "wish everyone everywhere a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"