How Christmas Became a Respectable Holiday; Or, Why Our Grandparents Didn't Sing White Christmas When They Were Kids
Until the 1820s "traditional" American Christmas was typically a weeks-long riot of revelry, drunkenness, debauchery, and public disorder,. Respectable people were appalled, and set out to convert the holiday from a pagan carnival by the lower orders into a celebration of piety, family, good cheer and proper deportment.
Within decades, Christmas had been tamed, domesticated, made a national holiday, and was primed to become, in later generations, a festival of consumer consumption.
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