Did you know that Christmas trees were originally hung upside down from ceilings in some countries? Or that up until 100 years ago, it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in parts of the United States?
Many Christmas traditions still common today date back thousands of years in some form or another. Some customs, such as the 12 days of Christmas, gift-giving, and caroling, have been traced back to as early as Mesopotamian times.
When did we start celebrating Christmas as we know it today?
In 1647, the English Parliament passed a law making it illegal to celebrate Christmas. The ban was lifted in 1660. During Queen Victoria's reign, Christmas was a time for gift giving, and became a special season for children. In Colonial America, Christmas was not celebrated as we know it today. Even in the US, it was illegal to celebrate Christmas until about 100 years ago.
As customs developed in different countries, we celebrate many of the same holiday traditions.