Did you know that celebrating Christmas was once banned in Massachusetts? Once upon a time in the Bay State, you could be fined and possibily imprisoned for caroling, hosting a Christmas dinner or exchanging gifts in honor of the holiday. And no, the ban wasn’t the work of a secular group – it was actually the most ardent Christians in the state who turned out to be the biggest grinches in history.
So when was the official ban against Christmas finally lifted? Not until 1681, a full generation later. That doesn’t mean that Christmas was suddenly all the rage, however – anti-Christmas sentiment persisted into the 1700s, and it wasn’t until 1856 that Christmas was made a public holiday.
The next time you’re decking the halls in Massachusetts, just remember that you’re probably making some of the state’s founding residents roll in their graves. For more wacky Massachusetts history, check out these 11 weird events you won’t find in history books.
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