NORTHUMBERLAND – You can thank some Revolutionary War soldiers for bringing Christmas trees to North America. John Moore, a local author and historian told us the first documented case of a decorated tree in the Americas was when the General of the Hessian soldiers was finally released from a series of prisoner of war camps, “They had a big gala. The baroness got a fir tree and decorated it with ornaments and candles. And that’s the first documented instance of anybody having an actual Christmas tree in North America.”
Moore says at that time, there was only a Christmas religious ceremony, where maybe a gift or two were handed out and a nice meal was shared, depending on hunting.
Moore relates another early American Christmas story, the famed Crossing of the Delaware by General George Washington, “Morale was very low. The army enlistments were about to expire. Washington saw the opportunity to catch many of the Hessians there literally sleeping. It became a great victory at the time when the Americans desperately needed a major military miracle.”
You can hear more Christmas and Revolutionary War stories from historian John Moore HERE or wherever you listen to podcasts.