The Years (plural) Without A Christmas


Of christmas it is indulgence. Christmas has long been time to break out the good booze and gorge yourself on sweet desserts made with expensive imported spices. To say nothing of the gift giving you know who didn't like all of those things oliver cromwell when he and his puritan forces took over england in sixteen forty five. They vowed to do away with decadence and went full. Alan rickman sheriff of nottingham and cancelled. Christmas shops were ordered to stay open on december. Twenty fifth and soldiers patrolled the streets with orders to seize any and all food. They found being prepared for a feast. It would take no less than restoring a king to the throne in this case. Charles the second to get christmas back. Puritans weren't exclusive to their native england and a bunch of them thought the spoiled beauty of the new world could really use some severe self-denial the puritans we refer to as pilgrims and about whom many myths were dispelled in. Our recent thanksgiving episode were even more orthodox in their puritanism than cromwell bonus fact that parallels the split between the amish and the mennonites. The amish broke off because the mennonites weren't strict enough since the puritans were among the first europeans to establish themselves in what would become america celebrating. Christmas was not a thing. It wasn't simply that they didn't celebrate it themselves. They didn't want anyone to celebrate the holiday. They had dubbed fools tied as an england shops and schools were expected to be open though. Interestingly churches were ordered to be closed on christmas one of the two days a year when even the laziest christian can be bothered to turn up. It was more than the frivolity and gluttony that they minded they viewed it as not properly christian. Puritans followed the bible very strictly. If something wasn't in the bible like taking any day for rest other than a sunday it might as well have come straight from the devil that would include the idea of resting on the day that jesus was born but since the bible also doesn't specify what day that is no big loss s historian stephen this inbound explains puritans were fond of saying that if god had intended for the anniversary of the city to be observed he would surely have given some indication as to when that anniversary occurred. The date of december twenty fifth wasn't officially the mass of christ until the fourth century. When pope julius the first subsumed the roman festival of saturnalia into a christian celebration. Which gave us some of our most enduring traditions like holly in candles. Puritans were also not keen on the papacy so they didn't care if it was official for twenty two years from sixteen fifty nine to sixteen eighty one. The celebration of christmas was actually outlawed. In the massachusetts bay colony the law went into effect one year after the brits had gotten their christmas restored by well the restoration the laws stated that in order to prevent disorders to the great dishonour of god and offensive others. Anyone found celebrating the holiday. Either by forbearing of labor feasting or any other way would be find a hefty five shillings on one christmas day. Plymouth governor william bradford noticed some people playing an old equivalent of baseball and ordered them all to get back to work. Now would be an appropriate time. If i make an aside and i may because it's my show to remind people that religious freedom is when you say that's against my religion. I can't do it but religious freedom does not mean that's against my religion. You can't do it. Even after the ban on christmas was repealed in sixteen. Eighty one staunch puritans still fought against christmas celebrations for decades in sixteen eighty six. The newly appointed governor of the dominion of new england closed shops on christmas day and sponsored a holiday service. This idea was unpopular enough with enough people. That soldiers had to accompany the governor to church. Those sorts of protests of christmas would continue but their focus would shift from celebrating at all to the way in which it was celebrated and what a way it was. We aren't talking about a family sing. Song and three helpings of pie or even old timey whistling colonial celebrations of christmas looked more like mardi gras mashed with halloween. If it took place during spring break drunken revellers take to the streets wearing scary masks or dressed like animals singing boisterously and demanding food drink and money under threat of violence ad in the ancient pagan roots of those practices. And we see that. The puritans had quite a lot to get their noses out of joint about boston minister. Cotton mather preached to his congregation more than thirty years. After the law's repeal the feast of christ's nativity is spent in reveling dicing carding masking. And in all licentious liberty by mad mirth by long eating by hard-drinking i- lewd gaming await. Those are meant to be bad things. After the american revolution or the kerfuffle of ungrateful colonials as the british call at surreal thing. You don't have to google it. Just trust me. English customs fell out of favor and since celebrating. Christmas had come over from england. It began to peter out to. It wasn't even declared a federal holiday until after the civil war in eighteen seventy. It was around that time that americans. Reinvented christmas and it changed from a raucous pagan carnival. Holiday into a family centered. Day of nostalgia nostalgia used to be considered a mental illness by the way. But that's a story for another day. So why the shift. The early nineteenth century was a period of class conflict high employment and of rioting by the lower classes that tended to come to a head around christmastime one such christmas riot in eighteen twenty eight moved the newark city council to institute. The city's first police force in response. This motivated certain members of the upper class to change the way. People viewed christmas literary figures like washington irving the man who helped co defy the until recently launched view of christopher columbus in eighteen nineteen. Urban wrote the sketch book of geoffrey crayon gent a series of stories about the celebration of christmas in an english manor house wherein the rich person invites pour into his home and the two classes of people get along swimmingly and celebrate with quote ancient customs. As nice as that is it's worth noting that the details of the books revelry don't parallel any celebration. We know of irving actually attending and seems to have been completely imagined. It's the season of giving and you

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