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The Battle for Christmas

The Battle for Christmas

Anyone who laments the excesses of Christmas might consider the Puritans of colonial Massachusetts: they simply outlawed the holiday. The Puritans had their reasons, since Christmas was once an occasion for drunkenness and riot, when poor "wassailers extorted food and drink from the well-to-do. In this intriguing and innovative work of social history, Stephen Nissenbaum rediscovers Christmas's carnival origins and shows how it was transformed, during the nineteenth century, into a festival of domesticity and consumerism.

Chapter 1: New England’s War on Christmas

Chapter 2: Revisiting “? Visit from St. Nicholas”

Chapter 3: The Parlor and the Street

Chapter 4: Affection’s Gift: Toward a History of Christmas Presents

Chapter 5: Under the Christmas Tree: A Battle of Generations

Chapter 6: Tiny Tim and Other Charity Cases

Chapter 7: Wassailing Across the Color Line: Christmas in the Antebellum South

Epilogue: The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Notes