In Canada, from 1875 onwards, Christmas lost its essentially religious character, at least for Anglophones and the upper middle class. Little by little it became a community festival which gave rise to much family merry-making. New customs began to take root. Henceforth, the decorated Christmas tree, the crPche with its santons or plaster figures, gifts and the Christmas "réveillon" became part of family tradition.
Francophones, however, incorporated these new practices into their culture much later. After the First World War, increasing commercial advertising drew Francophones into the dizzy festive activities. During the 1930s, the working classes also joined this happy Christmas rush.
Christmas has turned out to be one of the main religious festivals celebrated in Canada. From the beginning of New France up till the end of the XIXth century, Amerindians, Francophones and a large number of Anglophones went to church to celebrate the Nativity at Christmas. The three masses, the procession of the Christ Child and the visit to the crèche were essential elements of the traditions surrounding this great celebration.