I’d intended to write this post before and during the holidays but was far too busy. So even if this is a little dated, I will do it now. Bear with me, eventually I will reach Christmas customs for the Shakers.
From its early days, Christianity celebrated the Nativity. The giving of presents, the decoration of the houses with evergreens, the suspension of enmity and the proclamation of peace were all features of the festival from the beginning.
Some of the early customs aren’t so familiar to us now. The Lord of Misrule? The switching of masters and servants ? Likewise, some of our most treasured rituals were not invented yet. The Tree, for example, although known in England before Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, did not achieve its popularity until the Queen adopted it. Like so many British customs, this one crossed the Atlantic.