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What was Christmas Like in Colonial New England

Merry Christmas 2022

The Christmas season in colonial New England was a time of joy and celebration. The Puritans, who inhabited the region, frowned upon most forms of public merriment, but the holiday season was an exception. Christmas was when the Puritans could come together and enjoy the company of their neighbors in the small, close-knit communities of early America. In this blog post, we will explore how Christmas was celebrated in colonial New England and the traditions that were unique to the region.


Christmas in colonial New England was celebrated with much festivity and joy. On the evening of Christmas Eve, the townsfolk would gather in the local churches to sing Christmas carols and hear readings from the Bible. Afterward, they would adjourn to their homes to feast on a variety of traditional dishes such as roasted goose, boiled lobster, and mincemeat pie.

Gift Giving

Gift-giving was also a popular custom in colonial New England. On the morning of Christmas Day, children would often find small presents waiting for them under the tree. These gifts were typically simple items such as handmade toys, mittens, or even apples. Adults would also exchange small tokens of appreciation with one another, such as a hand-carved wooden spoon or a piece of cloth.

Games and Dances

Christmas in colonial New England was also a time for games and dances. After the evening meal, the townsfolk often gathered in the local taverns to play cards and board games. Later in the evening, the men and women would dance together in the streets to traditional folk music.


Christmas in colonial New England was a time of joy and celebration. The Puritans, who had traditionally been strict adherents to the Bible, allowed themselves to enjoy the holiday season with games, dances, and gift-giving. This tradition of Christmas in colonial New England is still alive today and continues to bring families and communities together in celebration of the holiday season.



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