Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I think this is the first news outlet to let Americans know the truth about the Pilgrims & Christmas:
The Puritan War on Christmas: Actually ban Christmas 
If you're going to fight a war on Christmas, an all-out ban on the holiday seems like a pretty solid goal. It's also something the Puritans actually accomplished, in multiple countries, for decades, putting today's Christmas haters to shame. From 1659 to 1681, Bostonians faced a five-shilling fine for celebrating Christmas, a law that followed a similar ban in England during Oliver Cromwell's rule, when the Parliament was controlled by a Puritan majority. Puritan Parliament there even decided to make Christmastime a period of "fasting and humiliation," for all of the sins of celebrations of Christmas past.
The New England anti-Christmas sentiment was a de facto reality from pretty much the beginning of the Plymouth colony, too. On Christmas Day in 1621, at the brand-new Plymouth Colony, Governor William Bradford asked settlers — both Puritan and otherwise — to spend the day working on a shelter. Here's how Bradford described Plymouth's first Christmas in his journal:
 ON the day called Christmas-day, the Governor called them out to work, (as was used) but the most of this new company excused themselves, and said it went against their consciences to work on that day. So the Governor told them that if they made it matter of conscience, he would spare them, till they were better informed; so he led away the rest and left them; but when they came home at noon, from their work, he found them in the street at play openly; some pitching the bar, and some at stool-ball, and such like sports. So he went to them, and took away their implements, and told them, that was against his conscience, that they should play, and others work; if they made the keeping of it matter of devotion, let them keep their houses, but there should be no gaming, or revelling in the streets. Since which time nothing hath been attempted that way, at least openly
While the English ban proved tricky to enforce, and was dissolved after the Restoration, anti-Christmas culture dominated New England until the mid-19th century. Christmas became a national holiday in 1870.

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