Brooks & Crowley December 2017

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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

Inside This Issue

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What Made 2017 Great?

The Keto Diet: Does It Work?

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The Importance of Keeping Sidewalks Safe in the Snow

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Go KonMari on Your Calendar

Paleo Happy Hour’s Bacon- Wrapped Water Chestnuts

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When Christmas Was Illegal

The Town that Stole Christmas

One look at Boston this month, and anybody would think it’s a perfect winter wonderland — old brownstones, new architecture, and everything lit up with holiday lights and blanketed in soft white snow. And there certainly isn’t any shortage of festive things to do this time of year. From Faneuil Market to the Christmas Festival, Bostonians celebrate the holidays in style. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, once upon a time, the residents of Boston banned Christmas altogether! Back in the days of the Puritans, the residents of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had no love for Christmas. They associated the holiday with several negative things. First, Christmas was celebrated by the monarchy, and persecution by the monarchy was one of the reasons the Puritans left England in the first place. Second, the Puritans argued that Christmas celebrations weren’t mentioned in the Bible and were rooted in pagan traditions surrounding the winter solstice. Finally, the Puritans didn’t like the caroling, celebrating, drinking, and other activities that mark Christmas celebrations.

So, in 1659, they banned it altogether, with a five- shilling fine for anybody caught celebrating the holiday. As you can imagine, this didn’t really stop anybody from celebrating in private. Five shillings wasn’t that much money. Furthermore, the record books never showed anyone being prosecuted or fined for breaking the “no Christmas” law. If anything, the law was just there to register the Colony’s distaste for the excesses of the monarchy and to set themselves apart. But the law stayed on the books for over 40 years, and was only repealed when England threatened to repeal the colony’s charter if they didn’t lighten up their Puritan ways a bit. Even after

Christmas was legalized once again, the Puritans still didn’t celebrate the holiday, keeping their stores and schools open

on Dec. 25. It was just one facet of the anti-England attitudes that eventually led to the American Revolution, even if Christmas got caught in the crossfire.

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