"A grandma is just an antique little girl"...unknown
Friday, December 9, 2011
Do you think Christmas is too commercial??
I like to visit the History.com site now and again. Today I was wondering about the history of Christmas trees. I had long been aware that there were numerous connections with pre-Christian cultural practices, but I wanted a refresher on some of those practices and the purpose behind them.
Well, lo and behold! I learned something that was entirely new to me. Christmas as we know it today was banned in Boston, as they say. I guess it makes sense although for some reason I had never heard this before. It seems that the Puritans so prevalent in New England felt quite strongly that heathen acts such as singing carols, decorating trees, or basically any kind of "joyful expression" of the season served only to make a mockery of a sacred event. Church attendance was the only acceptable way to mark the day. Anything else was subject to a fine. I read about it here.
We are not putting up a tree this year. It's not a statement about the sacredness or religious meaning of the day. We did put up other decorations. I am thinking it is a good thing we decided against the tree, though, because Mother Nature is messing with our usual tradition. There is very little snow.
There are no shortage of Christmas tree farms in our neighborhood. We have always liked to go to a nearby farm and cut our own tree. We are careful about picking the day--and no matter what the forecast may have been, the actual weather will be freshly falling snow that has deepened to knee level over night accompanied by frigid, howling winds. Temperatures below the zero mark seem mandatory. I am sure that day will come, but it has not arrived yet this year. So Mike is spared lying under a tree with his shirt and jacket slipping up and his pants slipping down enough to freeze a section of backside as he struggles with a hacksaw and I, in an effort to hold the tree shower him with more falling snow in icy clumps. But it is tradition!
I do wonder how the Puritans might have reacted to someting like Black Friday.