Christmas as we know it today hasn’t always been Christmas as we know it. It was only about 150 years ago Christmas in the United States started to take shape and become the holiday we have today.

Before the Civil war the North and South were divided on the issue of Christmas the way they were on slavery. The North thought it was a sin to celebrate but the South thought it was an important part of the social season.

Alabama, a Southern state, was the first to declare Christmas as a legal holiday in 1836. Two other Southern states followed in 1838, Louisiana and Arkansas. In the years after the Civil War children’s books and women’s magazine depicting Christmas played an important role in spreading the holiday around the country.

Maine, one f the few Northern States, made Christmas a legal holiday in 1858, slowly, other states in the North declared it a holiday too. It wasn’t until the 1920’s when Santa and the image of him with the white beard and red suit became the standard.