SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The Springfield Historical Society is holding an open program at the historic Cannon Ball House on Sunday, Dec. 2. The historical society will be opening up the colonial structure from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a tour and holiday program. The topic of the program will focus on holiday customs for Christmas and Hanukkah, both now and in colonial times.

In the parts of the colonies and the early United States, Christmas was not celebrated with the same gusto it is today. Christmas was not a major holiday so there were minimal decorations. In fact, certain places banned celebrations of the holiday, fearing it was tied too closely to the pagan rituals that had come at that season in years before.

The prevailing attitudes about the holiday remained the same, and according to the historical society, it was not until the influence of Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria in the Mid-19th century that Christmas in America grew into the holiday that is celebrated today.

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Along with the program, Cannon Ball House will be open for a general tour, and information about the history of the house and town. Light refreshments will also be made available at the event.

The Springfield Historical Society is based out of the Cannon Ball House. According to their website, the society was established in 1955 with a three part goal of preserving the historic Cannon Ball House, saving its artifacts and archives and educating the public on the rich history of Springfield.

The historic Cannon Ball House is located at 126 Morris Ave. For information on the tour and other events, please call the Springfield Historical Society at (973) 376-4784.