I have been roaming through Wikipedia about the history of Christmas celebrations in preparation for an essay I've been asked to write. What I found was that the Puritans, who settled America, were against celebrating Christmas altogether. "They found no scriptural justification for celebrating Christmas, and associated such celebrations with paganism and idolatry."
It wasn't until the mid-19th century that the commercial/nostalgic holiday that we know today as Christmas really took hold. Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria set the standard. Thus we get the decorated tree (thank you, Prince Albert), gift giving, holly and ivy, carols, and feasting. American writer, Clement Moore, wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas, better known as The Night Before Christmas and established St. Nicholas or Santa Claus as a firm figure in the holiday landscape.
In the affluent world we live in today, keeping up with Dickens and Queen Victoria isn't enough. Now we have to deal with Pinterest.
Is there anything more defeating than Pinterest during the holidays? Do I really have to make a berry Christmas tree with a melon star at the top for my holiday table? Or place the silverware in red knitted stockings? Or have various themed trees for the different rooms in my house? Do I have to place a wreathe in every window of my house and light it up like a brothel in Amsterdam? Or put candy in a waffle cone for favors? Blahblahblah.
I sound very bah humbug.
I'm not writing about this. I'll write about the Thanksgiving when we had a thrown together dinner and watched Pet Sematary. Now that was a celebration!