Christmas — In New England, a great devoutness meant Christmas was just another day to do the Lord's work, an ordinary working day. In other colonies, customs include attending church, dinner, dancing, visiting, and decorating with evergreens. 18th century Christmas was a holiday for adults. The modern tradition of Christmas can be traced to post-colonial times through German, Dutch, and French customs. St. Nicolas became popular by the writings of Washington Irving in 1820 (which I include in my novella 'Tis the Season in Mistletoe Memories). The Christmas tree did not gain general popularity until later in the 19th century (I included this custom in my story Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner in Guideposts' A Cup of Christmas Cheer.)
Hospitals — The Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin "to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia." This was the first hospital in the United States.
|The Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts (abt. 1637)|
is the oldest surviving timber-frame house in North America