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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of guilt-busting information..., December 29, 1999
This review is from: The Battle for Christmas (Hardcover)
How many of us feel guilty each year as the holiday season approaches, feeling that we are not celebrating the holidays with the spiritual ferver and simplicity of our ancestors? Well, it turns out that our ancestors, at least until the 19th century, were probably getting drunk, partying, and possibly taking in a bit of "chambering" (an old euphamism for fornication) during the Xmas season. This is a fascinating book that shows through solid data that our preconceived ideas of what Xmas used to be are largely incorrect. Cotton and Increase Mather both preached against the celebration of Christmas from the pulpit because the celebrations at the Xmas season in their lifetimes were seen to be so immoral as to be unfit for Christians. I found this book to be so interesting and pertinent that I spent a hour in a church class explaining its contents to my fellow churchgoers. I highly recommend this book for any curious and thoughtful person and bet it will liberate you from guilt and stress based on incorrect perceptions of Xmases past.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 14, 2010 11:49:11 PM PDT
What reaction did you get at the church?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 6:38:20 AM PST
jannert says:
It's quite interesting that so many people on this site have taken the position that the Puritans disliked Christmas because of its pagan rites and wild behaviour. In fact, the Puritans were less concerned about paganism and MUCH more concerned that the celebration of Christian Christmas was linked to Catholicism. During the Protestant Reformation in England and Scotland, Christmas was outlawed. Once the Stuart monarchy was restored, Christmas was celebrated once again, although in a more subdued fashion than before.

The Puritans were staunchly Protestant, and detested Christmas because they saw it as a Catholic (Popish) holiday. It's one of the reasons that Presbyterian Scotland avoided celebrating Christmas at all, for so many years. Indeed, in the memory of people still alive today in Scotland, Christmas was a working day in their youth, and not marked at all. (New Year was the big midwinter celebration instead.)
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