by Stephen Nissenbaum
In 1659 the Massachusetts Bay General Court declared the celebration of Christmas to be a criminal offense. What the Puritans were trying to suppress was a holiday marked by boisterous invasions of the homes of the wealthy. As recently as the early 19th century, Christmas reveling often resulted in violence and riots. In this book, Nissenbaum explores the not-always-proud history of Christmas in American culture.