Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Thanks to our Puritan ancestors you could not celebrate Christmas if you lived in Boston, as I do now. Now the William Ives family had gone to New Haven so you cannot blame them but there were many cousins and future cousins still around at the time. I knew something about this but was reminded in a post from Neatorma, Banned in Boston. It said:
“In 1659, just a few decades after they had arrived in the New World, the Puritans banned the celebration of Christmas (as well as gambling and congregation for non-religious purposes). The holiday reminded them of Old World customs from England (the nation from which they’d fled to escape religious persecution). In fact, they refused to consider December 25th a holy day at all - the Catholic Church had selected the date as the day to celebrate Christ’s birthday because it coincided with an ancient, popular pagan festival. Anybody in Boston caught singing, drinking, playing games, or having a feast on Christmas was fined five shillings. The bans were later revoked, but it wouldn’t be the last time a moral outcry deprived Bostonians of diversions that seem relatively harmless today.”
There is a lot more on other things banned in Boston so check out the complete post and seasons greetings.