SWANSEA — Today’s Christmas time at Martin House Farm, a quaint 18th century farmhouse, might have a few familiar elements that it had in 1856 when celebrating Christmas finally became legal in Massachusetts.

Swansea's Martin House celebrates colonial Christmas traditions.

Martin House Farm — a property on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979 — is located in Swansea, which is rich in colonial history. What would Christmas have been like in the earlier days of the colony, compared to how it looked in the 1850s, and now?

There are a dozen Christmas tree farms within a 50-mile radius of Martin House, most of them planted their first saplings between early to late 1900s. The settlers could have planted Christmas trees earlier, if Christmas wasn’t banned for the better part of the 1800s. It is quite possible the later Christmas trees at Martin House came from one of these nearby farms, if the Martin residents didn’t take advantage of its 63-acres field that has been continuously cultivated for over 300 years.