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(2,175 posts)
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 11:48 AM Nov 2017

Interesting fact I just learned about Christmas in America.

Every year, conservatives bemoan the fact that while this has "always" been a nation "Under God", some people these days do not say "Merry Christmas".

In reading my latest acquisition from the public library, a book called "The English and their history", I came upon a part dealing with the English Civil War where it is said that the Puritans actually outlawed Christmas in areas under their control.

This had me look up our early American history, and sure enough the Puritan settlers (i.e. the epitome of American colonists in our own popular histories) did not celebrate Christmas and indeed outlawed it.

Thus, when us gosh-durned libruls have the temerity to utter "Happy Holidays", we are actually following the very first Christmas tradition of our own country. Conservatives who demand we say "Merry Christmas" are actually demanding that we deviate from our earliest Christmas traditions!


(23,490 posts)
1. do only reason we acknowledge Christmas in this country is so
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 11:53 AM
Nov 2017

fucking greedy retailers can get rich..that's why the right gets so upset when we don't say Merry Christmas


(4,492 posts)
17. Support small retailers this holiday season--- in person and online
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 01:53 PM
Nov 2017

(Shameless plug--- I have an Etsy shop and am doubling down on inventory hoping that my items will end up under trees).

The Velveteen Ocelot

(113,006 posts)
2. Christmas was considered a "popish" (i.e., Catholic) holiday
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 11:54 AM
Nov 2017

by many Protestants in those days. After all, the name itself is actually "Christ's Mass."


(21,646 posts)
3. THANKS K&R wow just looked up wiki Christmas in Puritan New England. Illegal at certain colonial
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 11:59 AM
Nov 2017

times, and it really was relaxed after the civil war
Christmas became a federal holiday in 1870, the Puritan view was relaxed and late 19th century Americans fashioned the day into the Christmas of commercialism, spirituality, and nostalgia that most Americans recognize today.

The Puritan view was tenacious. As late as 1870, classes were scheduled in Boston public schools on Christmas Day and punishments were doled out to children who chose to stay home beneath the Christmas tree.[8][9] One commentator hinted that the Puritans viewed Santa Claus as the Anti-Christ.[10]

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, Christmas became the festival highpoint of the American calendar. The day became a Federal holiday in 1870 under President Ulysses S. Grant in an attempt to unite north and south. The Puritan hostility to Christmas was gradually relaxed. In the late 19th century, authors praised the holiday for its liberality, family togetherness, and joyful observance.[8] In 1887, for example, St. Nicholas Magazine published a story about a sickly Puritan boy of 1635 being restored to health when his mother brings him a bough of Christmas greenery.[8]

One commentator suggested the Puritans had actually done the day a service in reviling the gaming, dissipation, and sporting in its observation.[10] When the day's less pleasant associations were stripped away, Americans recreated the day according to their tastes and times. The doctrines that caused the Puritans to regard the day with disapprobation were modified and the day was rescued from its traditional excesses of behavior. Christmas was reshaped in late 19th century America with liberal Protestantism and spirituality, commercialism, artisanship, nostalgia, and hope becoming the day's distinguishing characteristics.[11]


(2,175 posts)
4. I thought this was funny:
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:02 PM
Nov 2017

"One commentator hinted that the Puritans viewed Santa Claus as the Anti-Christ.[10] "

The Puritans probably had about 6,000 candidates for Anti-Christ, right?


(28,016 posts)
5. You forget.. Facts are immaterial.
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:03 PM
Nov 2017

The fact that the others celebrated the solstice and researchers say Jesus was born in June... is the real reason for the season at the wrong time of year.


(21,407 posts)
7. Some evangelicals of various stripes re moving away from celebrating Christmas for several reasons.
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:04 PM
Nov 2017

it's become too pagan, Jesus didin't celebrate it so it's too worldly, it's too Catholic. People who are mad about "Merry Christmas" are often coming from a cultural viewpoint, not religious.


(2,175 posts)
10. But the "cultural" viewpoint is what I am talking about.
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:10 PM
Nov 2017

The notion that the "American culture" originally celebrated Christmas is wrong. The earliest *recognizable* settlers (i.e. the English kind, not Spanish or French) in our cultural myth outlawed Christmas.

Anyway, my post was kind of tongue-in-cheek.


(14,737 posts)
16. The only reason these conservatives are up in arms
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 01:51 PM
Nov 2017

is because some conservative talk show hosts made it a topic and got them riled up about it. Now they run around harassing store clerks, who have to be nice to them or get fired, and so aren't in a position to tell them to get lost with their ridiculous bullshit outrage over someone saying "Happy Holidays" to them.

Remember, these people don't think.


(2,175 posts)
9. True,
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:07 PM
Nov 2017

but at least from the conservative perspective our "War" on Christmas is right out of our earliest traditions. If we were to wage such a war, we would actually be the "conservatives" in that instance.

The Puritans would probably just grunt and say we were going to hell though, you're right.


(18,400 posts)
11. And then there are a lot of us who do not celebrate Christmas at all today
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:23 PM
Nov 2017

We are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. And we've been here throughout the history of the nation as well.

It's true that we are a "Christian nation" to the extent that apparently 70% of Americans identify as being "Christians." So there should be a national holiday, and we should respect that a majority of Americans celebrate it in one way or another. Of the 30% of us who are not Christians, a good percentage are atheists or "no religion." Whether they celebrate Christmas in a secular way or not, I suppose varies.

But many of us, honestly, do not celebrate the holiday either religiously or secularly. At all: we go to a Chinese restaurant or a movie or stay home and watch tv or read books. Yet we enjoy the season with our Christian friends by wishing them well, by giving gifts to close friends or office mates, and sometimes even going to friends' houses for dinner, when invited (in return, we invite them to our houses to enjoy latkes for Hanukkah, for instance).

So whatever. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Who honestly cares? It's just like saying "Have a nice day." It doesn't mean a thing either way except wishing someone well.


(60,009 posts)
12. The crap they splutter does not have to be logical or factual to them.
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:51 PM
Nov 2017

They use imaginary history, they use selective and even contradictory bible quotes,whatever pops into their head or is planted there by Limbaugh, Alex Jones, etc.
facts? not so much.


(2,175 posts)
14. That's why the bible is such a powerful tool
Fri Nov 17, 2017, 01:40 PM
Nov 2017

it can be used to support any side with selective quotation.

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