When the puritans came over on the Mayflower in 1620, they brought with them their strict ways, their religious views and their distaste for Christmas.
Although Christmas was widely celebrated in Europe as a Christian holiday marking the birth of Jesus Christ, puritans saw it as a false holiday with stronger ties to paganism than Christianity, and they were correct, according to the book The Battle for Christmas:
“It was only in the fourth century that the Church officially decided to observe Christmas on December 25. And this date was chosen not for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity. The puritans were correct when they pointed out – and they pointed it out often – that Christmas was nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer. The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston, for example, accurately observed in 1687 that the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so ‘thinking that Christ was born in that month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.’”
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