“Puritans saved their greatest contempt for Christmas. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they successfully prevented any significant celebrations of it. ‘Foolstide,’ as they called December 25, aroused their special ire for a variety of reasons. In addition to the fact that no [man-made] holy days are sanctioned by Scripture, Puritans hated Christmas because it was an immensely popular holiday in both England and Europe and was almost always the occasion for excessive behavior. Cotton Mather argued that during the ‘Saturnalian jollities” of late December, ‘men dishonoured the Lord Jesus Christ more in the twelve days of Christmas’ than in all the twelve months of the preceding year. Second, Christmas occupied a special place in the ideological warfare of Reformation Europe. Congregational and Presbyterian Puritans; most Anabaptists; Quakers; and several other groups loathed it as an abomination. But Anglicans, Dutch Reformed, and Lutherans, among others joined the Catholics in celebrating it. When the Church of England, after separating from Rome, promoted the Feast of the Nativity as a major religious holiday, the Puritans attacked it as one of the most egregious symbols of residual Papist idolatry — a ‘wanton Bacchanalian feast.’ Finally, Puritans argued that to select December 25 as Christ’s birthday was ahistorical. [not-historical] It was far more likely that the true date was celebrated on December 25 because the day had been a Roman holiday, which early Christians coopted. Hence, to celebrate Christmas was to pay tribute to a pagan custom.” — Bruce C. Daniels, “Puritans at Play: Leisure and Recreation in Colonial New England,” p. 89