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Deck the Halls: Female Abolitionists and Christmas

Please join us December 11, 2023 / 7-8:30 pm

Location: Follen Church Sanctuary, 755 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington

Sponsored by Lexington Lyceum Advocates and LexSeeHer.

New England’s female abolitionists in the first half of the nineteenth century played a large role in the development of modern American Christmas traditions. These abolitionists, led by Maria Chapman, hosted anti-slavery society Christmas Fairs – one of the earliest traditions associated with Christmas. It was at these fairs that most Americans in the first half of the nineteenth century encountered a Christmas tree. These fairs had a wide-ranging influence on our current customs, including the use of greenery in decorating and gift giving in America. Women promoted abolitionism while creating goods for sale as well as organizing the fairs. This helped move woman out of the designated domestic sphere of the home (not without controversy) into the economy. All of this would forever change the role of women in society and how we celebrate Christmas.

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