The Puritans had the right idea about Christmas
But then again, maybe not.
Americas first theocrats on Xmas, according to The History News Channel:
The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. ... After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
Take that, Bill O'Reilly! [And I don't mean that loofah, I've got to wrap that for Babs.]
[Personally, I can't stand the orgiastic materialism, the emotional manipulation, and the sheer length of the Xmas atrocity. I mean, Christ died so mallgoers could elbow their way to the last "College Republican Barbie"? And if I hear "Me and My Drum" one more time, I'm going to beat Tiny Tim over the head with his own crutch. Sue me.]
So, why would America's first--but not, alas, last--theocrats have outlawed Christmas?
Some of the reasons for the Puritan opposition to Christmas are very familiar to us today. First, they knew that there is no biblical or historical evidence connecting the birth of Jesus with late December, when it probably would have been too cold in Bethlehem for shepherds to be ``keeping watch over their flocks by night'' (Luke 2:8). Second, they recognized that Christmas had its roots in pagan winter solstice festivals like the Roman Saturnalia.
And the pagan roots of Christmas are all too evident today.
However, their rejection of Christmas stemmed from a deeper source than a mere academic awareness of its origins. Culturally as well as chronologically, the Puritans were much closer to the origins of Christmas than we are today.
In the agricultural societies of early modern Europe and colonial America, December was a time when there was relatively little work to be done and an abundance of food was available. The harvest was complete, animals had been slaughtered, and the year's supply of beer and wine was ready. This combination of circumstances naturally resulted in the Christmas season being a time of gluttony, drunkenness, and sexual promiscuity. .... In these rituals, social and sexual roles would be reversed. For example, men would dress as women and women as men, and bands of peasants would roam the countryside, forcibly entering the homes of landowners and offering songs and promises of goodwill in exchange for food and drink from the landowners' stores. (Via Doug Ward, "Unity in Christ"
Wait a minute, this is sounding pretty good--Especially the redistribution aspect.
Wonder if O'Reilly and FUX are for that part of Christmas, too? Or are they just for part where we get deeper in hock to the credit card companies by blowing our paychecks at Wal-Mart?