Posted Friday, December 24, 2010
Christmas may be the Big Kahuna of American holy days… but it wasn’t always so. For many centuries, it was a time of drunken rowdiness, when the poor would aggressively demand food and money from the rich. Little surprise, then, that the Puritans banned Christmas altogether. BackStory’s year-end special takes on the fascinating history of the “holiday season” in America with Historian Stephen Nissenbaum describeing how the holiday was re-invented in the 1820s as the peaceful, family-oriented, and yes, consumeristic ritual we celebrate today. And Rabbi Laura Baum explains how the Hanukkah story came to be, and why telling kids the truth about its origins doesn’t diminish the holiday.
Other, Miscellaneous, Holiday
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