colonial christmas


When Christmas was banned in Boston,

To the Puritans of the 17th century, Christmas was terrible thing.  Christmas was the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus by praying, being humble, and working hard, all with a spirit of self denial.  In the mid 17th century Christmas was banned in Britain by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliament. In America the Puritans wanted something similar.  The Rev. Increase Mather (pictured above), father of Cotton Mather, spearheaded the movement to ban Christmas with this denouncement,

“it is consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in Mad Mirth.”

In 1659 the City of Boston banned Christmas, the law stating,

“It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shilling as a fine to the county.”

Boston’s ban on Christmas lasted 22 years.  In 1681 a royal governor named Sir Edmond Andros took control of governance of the colony and rolled back many Puritan laws, including Boston’s ban on Christmas.  However, Christmas was still de facto illegal by many other laws.  Civil servants could be removed from their posts, public school students could be expelled for skipping Christmas Day.  Celebrating Christmas was also highly looked down upon by Bostonians.  When Gov. Andros attended Christmas celebrations in 1686, he had to be guarded by a regiment of soldiers to fend off a mob of angry Puritans.  Christmas celebrations didn’t come back into fashion in Boston until after the American Civil War.

Home for the Holidays

Hi @usukdorkfanfics,  I’m your secret santa !! admittedly, i was already kinda nervous to write something for you because I really like your fics! I was also a little worried with just the prompt of “human au”, but I ended up running away with it and got lost lmao ouo;; I hope your Christmas celebrations are going well and you enjoy! C: Merry Christmas!!

Title: Home for the Holidays

Summary: Alfred waits tables and sings on the sidewalks of New York City in his struggle to survive in the heart of such an active town. When he meets Arthur, a well-off lawyer with a bad taste in coffee and a love for restaurant pies, he doesn’t expect to have his most challenging Christmas wish granted, and the potential of something more.

Rating: G

Warnings: None


busk - verb

1. play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways.

“the boy made extra money by busking on the streets of New York”

Read it on, AO3, or below the cut !

Keep reading

Today is Christmas Eve. This is the feast that I like to celebrate best. It reminds me of the many happy days not only of my childhood but also of history. Whether Christ was born or not exactly on this day, I don’t know; but chronological accuracy has nothing to do with tonight’s event. A grand genius had been born who preached truth and love, who suffered because of his mission, but on account of his sufferings, the world has become better, if not saved. Only it gives me nausea to see how some persons abuse his name to commit numerous crimes. If he is in heaven, he will surely protest! Consequently, Merry Christmas! Let us celebrate the anniversary of the birth of a Divine Man!
—  Excerpt from the letter of Jose Rizal to Ferdinand Blumentritt, dated December 25, 1888. 
How King George Stole Christmas

Every free thinking man in the colonies liked Christmas a lot…

But King George, who lived across the sea, did NOT!

King George hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!

Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be his crown didn’t fit his wig just right.

It could be, perhaps, that his red breeches were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all,

May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason, His heart or his crown,

He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the town,

Staring over from his throne with a sour, stuck up frown,

At the warm holiday ball, below in their gowns.

For he knew every colonist down overseas,

Was busy now, dressing from head to their knees.

“And they’re celebrating their freedom!” he snarled with a sneer,

“Tomorrow’s the day! It’s practically here!”

Then he growled, with his Georgie fingers nervously drumming,

“I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!”

For tomorrow, he knew, all the free girls and boys,

Would wake bright and early. They’d rush for their toys!

And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise!

Noise! Noise! Noise!

That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE!


Then the Schuyler sisters, the envy of all, would host a great dance.

And they’d dance, And the dance, And they’d DANCE!


They would feast on their cake, and Jefferson’s rare mac and cheese.

Which was something the Grinch couldn’t stand, no, god please!

And THEN they’d do something he liked least of all-

Every colonist in America, the tall and the small,

Would stand close together, with their petty declaration.

They’d stand hand-in-hand. Celebrate their new nation!

They’d sing! And they’d sing! And they’d SING!


And the more King George thought of this terrible tradition,

The more the monarch thought, “I’ll stop their fun, I’ll make it my mission! 

Why, we made an arrangement, I’m so blue! 

They claim every year I oppressed them! Not true!”

Then he got an idea… an awful idea!


“I know just what to do!” George laughed in his throat.

He dressed in his finest white fluffy coat.

And he chuckled, and laughed, “What a thought from above!

I’ll steal all their gifts to remind them of my love!

All I need is a subject…” King George looked around.

But, since subjects are scarce, there were none to be found.

Did that stop the mad king? No! King George simply said,

“If I can’t find a subject, I’ll call one instead!”

So he called his loyal friend, Samuel Seabury, so astute,

Sammy wrote some free thoughts, something no one could refute.

Next George loaded some bags and as snow began to flurry,

On a ramshackle sleigh, he brought along Seabury.

Then King George said, “Da da da da da!” And the sleigh started down,

Toward the homes where the colonists lay asnooze in their town.

All their windows were dark, quiet snow filled the air,

When he came to the first little house on the square.

“This is stop number one,” the King Georgie did mutter,

“When I said they were mine, I don’t believe I did stutter.”

Then he slid down the chimney, tighter than valley forge.

But, if Santa could do it, then so could King George.

He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.

Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue.

Where the portraits of Washington, hung in a row.

“These paintings,” he grinned, “are the first things to go!”

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,

Around the whole room, and he took every present!

He adorned the wall with grand portraits of himself.

He pinned up the British flag, he lined every shelf!

“And NOW!” grinned King George, “I’ll stuff up their decree!

The declaration of independence, I’ll burn it, yippee!”

King George grabbed Jefferson’s pride and his love,

Then heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.

He turned around fast, and he saw a small man,

Little Alexander Hamilton, not part of the plan 

King George had been caught red handed in his crown,

By Hamilton, who was up to just write something down.

He stared at King George and said, "Why, King George, why?

Why are you taking our declaration? WHY?”

But, you know, that the King was so smart and so slick,

He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!

“Why, my sweet little soldier,” the flamboyant king did dispense,

“There’s a phrase in this passage that just doesn’t make sense.

I’ll take it home with me, son, don’t fret.

I’ll fix it up there, and be back in a jet!”

Alexander frowned, didn’t like that a ton,

He grumbled under his breath, “Don’t call me son.”

But the King just got him some water and sent

Alex back to his writing, which he would not relent.

And when Hamilton went off to write with his cup,

George went to the chimney and stuffed the page up!

The last thing he took was the log for their fire,

Then he went up the chimney, himself, the old liar.

“PoohPooh to the colonists!” he was said with a great, pompous cluck,

“They’re finding out now there’s no Christmas, good luck!”

So he paused. And King George put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow.

But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!

It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!

A traditional drinking song they were singing,

Their voices loud, each and every note ringing

The world turned upside down, they sang

Not long after fireworks set off with a bang 

He stared down at America, King George popped his eyes!

And he shook- what he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every colonist down in the states, the tall and the small,

was singing, without their declaration at all!

He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!

Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And King George, with his shined shoes ice-cold in the snow,

Thought: “I’m perplexed- how could it be so?”

And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.

Then King George thought of something he hadn’t before!

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “Doesn’t come from independence…

Maybe Christmas…perhaps… doesn’t have to make sense!”

And what happened then? Well…in America they say,

That King George’s small heart grew three sizes that day!

The jolly good king, reformed by their spirit,

called out a phrase, to any colonist who would hear it,

He beamed and he opened his arms in a bow,

exclaimed: “Merry Christmas to all- awesome, wow!”

I think I just saw my first “Christians stole Christmas” post of the season.

I guess, just to put it out there, we didn’t.

We may have taken some elements of indigenous European religious traditions (i.e., the Christmas tree) and Christianized them, with the resulting Christianized version entering the mainstream.

However, these aspects of Christmas are not necessary parts of the holiday. Christians celebrated Christmas well enough before contact with most European religions, and in many parts of the world, we have managed to do so after.

(Not every culture’s Christmas celebrations include a tree and whatnot. Those celebrations are still valid.)

Best Christmas Jams of the 18th Century

What’s that? You said you wanted period Christmas music? Inspiration for that holiday themed drabble you’re going to write for your TURN Secret Santa? 

Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy – a small gathering of Christmas albums for TURN fans looking for some 18th century flair for their holiday musical selections. (Links lead to entire albums on YouTube.) There’s some old favorites in here, as well as a few songs that you’ve probably never heard before. Regardless, they’re all really good. 

An American Christmas: Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata

A Baroque Christmas: The Boston Camerata

Sing We Noel: Christmas Music from England and Early America: The Boston Camerata

Colonial Christmas: Barry Phillips and Friends

Wassail! Wassail! Early American Christmas Music : The Revels Players

An American Christmas: Shapenote Carols from New England & Appalachia: The Tudor Choir

Songs for a Williamsburg Christmas: Colonial Williamsburg Madrigal Singers

On a Cold Winter’s Day - Early Christmas Music and Carols from the British Isles: Quadriga Consort

Winter’s Delights - Early Christmas Music and Carols from the British Isles: Quadriga Consort  

nezznar  asked:

i know you are mostly a usuk-recs kinda guy, but i was wondering if you knew of any good fics set in colonial america, usuk or not/shippy or not?

Actually, it’s hard to find fics set in colonial American times that aren’t USUK! Even the FrUS stuff is usually about how America is trying to get revenge / prove himself to England :)

I’m not sure if you wanted AUs or not, but I’m going to include both because there just aren’t enough colonial!America AUs.

Colonial AUs

Historical Stories about Colony!America (Non-USUK)

Colony!America Family-Love Fics

Budding Romantic Feelings

Revolutionary Angst


P.S. I’m a USUK-recs kinda gal :)

Shamchat continuation

It was only a couple of weeks before Arthur was called home to finish planning the Royal tour. When the day of parting came, Alfred slept straight through it.

Left on his own, Alfred went back to the same old habits. He woke at dawn and worked the fields, by noon he was in cooking, and by evening he was wrapped up in studies by the fire. Rinse and repeat. It was the same beat he had gone by since he was but a child.

In the years that followed, Alfred didn’t talk much with his brother. He got letters every now and then, asking how he was and what was happening around the colonies. If it was Christmas or an especially difficult year in crops, there’d be a few pounds cramped in with the letter. Most of it was placed away for a rainy day.

The most recent of Arthur’s letters wasn’t a checkup, it was a warning. Alfred had received it only a week ago and it warned that Arthur planned to visit soon. With winter fast approaching, Alfred scrambled to get everything prepped. It was hard, winter made him feel the worst out of any season. Still, he prevailed and managed to get the house in order for Arthur’s arrival. So, he waits.

Sitting at the nearest watering hole to the docks, a warm cider keeps his hands toasty as he waits for Arthur to arrive. They always met here when Arthur arrived, it kept one or the other from getting swept away with the crowds at the dock.