"In 1647, the English Parliament, dominated by Puritans, went beyond Calvin
and altogether banned the festival."____________________Puritanism under Cromwell was often quite tyrannical. When Christmas was
officially banned in England for a time, laws were passed actually REQUIRING
merchants to be open on Christmas day. These laws were primarily aimed at
Catholic merchants. How’s that for giving Catholicism a thumb in the
eye?Backtobasics mentions Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It
played a big role in rekindling our consciousness. Dickens, in one of the
greatest stories ever written, used this holiday held in the dead of cold winter
and shortest days of the year to appeal to our better instincts to be our
brother’s keeper, especially the poor, the hungry, and the downtrodden.
Dickens was a powerful voice of social reform in 19th century England. His books
inspired other writers of the era.Today, some religious elements
lament the secularization of Christmas, not realizing the role Clement Moore and
Santa Claus played in reviving a feast day that had been badly battered by the
fallout stemming from the Protestant Reformation.
The 19th century secularization of Christmas was a factor in bringing
Protestantism around to letting down its once obsessive determination to
suppress the holiday. In the United States, celebrations of Christmas were
becoming so popular that the anti-Catholicism justification was no match for
growing public enthusiasm for Christmas.
Let’s not forget the impact of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
My wife and I watch the movie with Alister Simm every Christmas Eve. This has
been our tradition for 42 years. Each time it reminds us of the worth of every
soul and man’s capacity to change/repent. When President Monson one year
expressed his view that this was a Christmas revelation given to the world I
felt like leaping to my feet because I had long held that same view. “God
bless is - every one.”
Great article as usual Dr. Peterson! For me, Christmas is most effectively
manifested by some (not all) of the Christmas music! Ever heard David Archuleta
sing "Oh Holy Night'? Now, that's what Christmas really always
has been and always will be about! The other stuff, not so much!
I really liked this article and found it interesting. By and large I really
like the idea of a joyful celebration of the birth of Christ even if it is not
mandated in scripture, even if it is not the actual day he was born. We
celebrate other historical figures and historical events of less significance.
Surely, even today, Christmas is one of the most popular holidays of the year.
Christmas trees? I can take them or leave them but they are a handy object to
bedeck with cheery Christmas lights and light-reflecting objects. Merry
Christmas every one.