I'm a bit of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas. I've even been known to take off on a winter hike rather than face the yuletide clamor. Don't get me wrong--families and friends finding an excuse to get together is great, but all this pressure to buy, buy, buy, buy gets old fast. So I was pleased to come across this interesting piece of historical trivia from The History News Channel (via Corrente):
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.