In the years 2010 to 2015, the New York Times marked the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War with a series of "Opinionator" posts about that conflicted time. I especially enjoyed historian Adam Goodheart's snapshot of how the Christmas holiday figured in the U.S. cultures of 1860.
Meanwhile, despite the break from forced labor, the season was a time of anxiety for people held in bondage.
Like just about everything else in a nation poised to go to sectional war, Christmas was claimed and appropriated by the contending parties.
Yet Christmas had not yet been entirely woven into the national calendar of major holidays.