Many of the Christmas customs that we are familiar with today were established during the four Civil War Christmases (1861-1864) . The famed editorial cartoonist, Thomas Nast, gave us one of the earliest depictions of Santa Claus with his sleigh and reindeer on rooftops and the jolly old soul climbing down the chimney. The image appeared in Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1863. Christmas trees, gift giving and caroling were entrenched during the Civil War as Americans fought ways to escape the horrors of war.
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