December 15

December fifteenth, the First American Christmas Tree (1832). Unitarian Minister Charles Follen delighted his son and party guests with a Christmas tree as he had growing up in Germany. They had postponed the festivities until New Years so that British author and Unitarian Harriet Martineau could attend. Her published account of the evening (perhaps presumptuously) declared the event to be America’s introduction to the Christmas tree and (quite accurately) predicted the future popularity of this custom.

From Martineau's description of the event: "I was present at the introduction into the new country of the spectacle of the German Christmas-tree. . . The children poured in; but in a moment,, every voice was hushed. Their faces were upturned to the blaze, all eyes wide open, all lips parted, all steps arrested. . . .I have little doubt the Christmas-tree will become one of the most flourishing exotics of New England."

About the Author

Ralph Yeager Roberts

Ralph is one of the creators of the Montessori-inspired curriculum Spirit Play, which is used by hundreds of UU churches across the us and canada....

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