Was There a Golden Age of Christmas in America?

9 Dec

Was There a Golden Age of Christmas in America?.

This op-ed by historian John Fea of Messiah College is responding to comments by Sarah Palin and others about a “War on Christmas.” At least part of the assumptions in such comments seems to be nostalgia for some “golden age.”

How “golden” the American past is for a Christian Christmas is less lustrous than might be supposed. Read Fea’s observations on Puritan Massachusetts and Christmas, or holidays in colonial Rhode Island. Neither Christmas nor commercialism got much welcome in either “Christian” commonwealth.

As a historian, he offers an important reminder:

When we try to use history to score political points in the present we end up picking the things in the past that suit our needs and ignoring the rest. This is bad history.

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