The last state to declare Christmas a legal holiday was Oklahoma in 1907. The first state to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday was Alabama in 1836. Christmas was declared an official holiday in the U.S. on June 26, 1870.
While many people believe that Christmas was the actual day that Jesus was born, the truth is that the holiday was instituted by Pope Julius I. Prior to the December 25 date, Christmas was generally celebrated as a pagan holiday. The holiday has over the years changed in meaning and festivities. However, in recent years, the day has come to be recognized as a legal holiday and a time for people across the world to make merry and show appreciation to loved ones.