Merry Christmas, everybody

wayback machine

"Sherman, set the WayBack Machine to 1659."

Merry Christmas, America.

Yes, I know. Times are tough, and with the nation increasingly mired in debt to the Chinese and the rest of the world, our options appear at first glance to be kind of limited.

But fear not. We have always found strength and inspiration in our shared national history, and if we look far enough back into our past, I’m confident that we can once again discover solutions to the problems that plague us.

With that in mind, let us step into the WayBack Machine and set the time-travel dial for, say, 1659.

That year, the Portuguese defeated the Spanish at the historic Battle of Elvas, a victory they no doubt commemorated in black velvet Elvas paintings still found in Portuguese flea markets today. Over in England, “the Mother Country,” they were squabbling over something they called the Rump Parliament, which sounds suspiciously like the Georgia Legislature in recent years but probably wasn’t, since it was dominated by Puritans. (The Rump Parliament, that is, not the rump Legislature.)

Here in America, colonists were still trying to establish a foothold up and down the Atlantic Coast. In Virginia they were trying to boost the economy by stealing land from the locals, importing slaves and planting tobacco, which probably aren’t examples we ought to look to in this modern day and age.

Instead, maybe we should look a bit farther north to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded by Puritans who came to the New World seeking religious freedom. It is there that we may find the solution we seek.

That year, the good and decent folks of the Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted a new law, which stated:

“”For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonor of God and offense of others: 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.”

In other words, they made Christmas illegal, and every person who observed the holiday in any way was subject to a heavy fine for each offense.

If you didn’t go to work Christmas Day, you paid a heavy fine to the country. If you had people over for Christmas dinner, another heavy fine. Crack open a beer, get fined. Open a present, fined. Watch a bowl game, fined.  I’m telling you, we could clear up the national debt in no time flat.

You see, a lot of the old-timey Americans weren’t quite sold on this Christmas thing. They saw it as a pagan holiday in Christian disguise, in part because there was no evidence whatsoever that Jesus had actually been born on the 25th of December. But the main reason they didn’t like it was because people were having way too much fun on Christmas.

The Rev. Increase Mather, for example, complained in 1687 that those vile “Christmas-keepers” honored the holiday in “highly dishonourable” ways, “consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in mad Mirth.” (”Compotations,” by the way, was the Puritan term for “tailgate parties.”)

And in 1621, Gov. William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation recounted what happened when he tried to rouse some non-Pilgrim newcomers to report for work on Christmas Day. They refused, saying “it wente against their consciences” to work on Christmas.

Bradford relented, and went off to his day’s labor. But when he returned to the village for lunch, “he found them in ye streete at play, openly; some pitching ye barr, & some at stoole-ball, and shuch like sports. So he went to them, and tooke away their implements, and tould them that was against his conscience, that they should play & others worke. If they made ye keeping of it mater of devotion, let them kepe their houses, but ther should be no gameing or revelling in ye streets. Since which time nothing hath been atempted that way, at least openly.”

So, if we are to find the answer in our nation’s history, the solution to our problems is a heavy fine on Christmas feasting, drinking, gaming, revelling, “compotations” and gift-giving and an outright ban on all forms of sports.

Hmmm. Then again, maybe Henry Ford had it right: “History is bunk.”

54 comments Add your comment

Bill

December 25th, 2009
7:22 am

Hooray finally somebody thinking outside the box

Normal

December 25th, 2009
7:37 am

Merry Christmas, Jay!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
7:40 am

We have always found strength and inspiration in our shared national history, and if we look far enough back into our past, I’m confident that we can once again discover solutions to the problems that plague us.

I got a better solution.

Let’s throw the socialist democrats out on their asses.

And then we can party.

Merry Christmas!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
7:56 am

Major exceptions, where Christmas is not a formal public holiday, include People’s Republic of China, (except Hong Kong and Macao), Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nepal, Iran, Turkey and North Korea.

Just sayin….

There are a lot of people in this world that observe Christmas for what it is, the “official” day that marks the Birth of our Savior. It is a time of renewal, promise, happiness and gift giving, a giving that represents the Gift that God gave to us, although the significance of our earthly offerings pales in comparison to everlasting life.

How it became our fault that some chose to celebrate this day by being “consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in mad Mirth” is best left to be explained by the self appointed keepers of the Nanny State.

On this day, we Christians only ask one thing of our brothers, that you carry the light of the Child into the world for all to see, so that it may fill the hearts of those who are without the Spirit.

AmVet

December 25th, 2009
8:12 am

Happy baby Jesus day everyone!

Good stuff Jay.

Except that part about fining Compotations. And the Interludes and Revelings.

(After last night, I’d be broke or in jail, or both.)

Man, it sounds to me like that increasing reverential dud(e) HAD to have been an early Republican Moralass Majority precursor type. Ralph Reed probably has a poster of him somewhere.

Silly t-totaling, t-bagging conned.

And Elvas was so over-rated…

Common Sense

December 25th, 2009
8:14 am

No Christian is perfect (especially me), there are false Christians, not so good denominations, and there are very poor (in service) Christians but just try to imagine a world with zero (repeat ZERO) Christian influence (service to the poor and downtrodden, music, art, architecture, influence for political freedom, respect for the rights of the individual and love for their soul) ……….. a world in which Christ never came ………………..

Thank you God for Jesus and the loving gift of eternal life …………. Merry Christmas to all !

#1 Foxy Lady

December 25th, 2009
8:14 am

Satan Claus was very good to the #1 Foxy Lady last night. Merry Xmas, evyboby!

In honor of Elvas, I’m gonna eat some corn and then play a special game of stoole-ball.

jconservative

December 25th, 2009
8:21 am

“Let’s throw the socialist democrats out on their asses.”

So we can put the socialist Republicans back in charge?

jconservative

December 25th, 2009
8:26 am

One of our problems in the US is that at Christmas we celebrate the coming of Santa instead of celebrating the first coming of Jesus.

Merry Christmas to all………..

Gator

December 25th, 2009
8:37 am

I’m shocked Jay would even say Merry Christmas.

Liberals like him and his ilk are probably getting ready to sue the ajc for using the words.

Merry Christmas you moonbat.

Vote Conservative in 2010…. Send the democrats back under the rocks they came out from under.

SOUTHERN ATL

December 25th, 2009
8:46 am

Jesus is the “Reason for the Season”…Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

December 25th, 2009
8:58 am

Well, what a Christmas we’re having up here at the trailer! Me and little Sonny Zell George was tearing and ripping presents open and everything was great. I’m about half zonked after getting into my main present, a whole case of PBR, and I’m trying to help Sonny put his train set together, only I ain’t seeing too good.

My buddy Jim Earl and my other buddy Joe Bill showed up early with presents for Sonny Zell George. A few minutes later the Rev. Jim Bob Buice come skulking around the corner, looking around like a pack of dogs might see him and tear him apart.

Anyways, amen to the guy that said the Reason for the Season. Jesus would never of went along with giving health insurance and doctoring to all these welfare bums and the illegals. He would of throwed the librul Democrats right out of office. Jesus was for the Middle Class. He didn’t have much use for these poor people. I reckon me and Whiner and the other godly Conservatives on this blog will have to wait till next November to do the job.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas everybody. Later on I reckon the missus will get started on cooking this 20 lb. turkey. She sure is eyeing it funny, like she might eat it before it’s cooked. Now, I got to get back to those long necks.

Mrs. Godzilla

December 25th, 2009
9:15 am

Merry Christmas dear ones!

Gladly my ancestors were certainly not puritans.

We double up on revellings and mad mirth.

And oh!! The compostations!

God Bless Us Everyone!

(Santa brought me a new notebook….just breaking it in)

@@

December 25th, 2009
9:18 am

Not sure what point you’re trying to make here, jay, but the game of “stoole ball” being played in Washington….the gift bestowed upon us….the one, for which we’ll be fined, should we refuse to accept, still has its own “sticking points”.

When the (?)stoole ball(?) meets the dem’s bat, ’twill be a gift like no other.

Leaving you with the visual, and a very Merry Christmas.

Dave R.

December 25th, 2009
9:33 am

As my dear wife is a direct descendant of Increase Mather, we have always had an interesting perspective on him and his history, along with that of his son, Cotton.

Needless to say, they were an – interesting – bunch to say the least.

Merry Christmas to the conservatives and Happy Holidays to the liberals on this blog.

iRun

December 25th, 2009
9:35 am

Actually, the Winter Solstice is the “reason for the season”. I mean that literally. The Winter Solstice is the first day of the season of winter. It’s on or about December 21. It was celebrated by pagans before they were integrated into Christianity. And it’s the reason why we celebrate Christmas in December instead of in June or July when Jesus was actually born. Made it easier to convert the pagans.

So, yeah, the Winter Solstice is the reasons for the season, but it’s also Christmas for the Christians. So, for all you Christians out there – Merry Christmas.

No laying out sidewalks today. Got a sore calf. I’m gonna go have beer for breakfast. Play nice while I’m gone.

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
9:50 am

“Vote Conservative in 2010…. Send the democrats back under the rocks they came out from under.”

I’ll consider it if there are any actual “conservatives” on the ballot.

I suspect, based on the rantings of the blog’s nut sacks, that they will forward another radical nut sack to the top of the ballot, so I’ll probably have to sit it out or hold my nose and vote for Obama again…

Mr Right

December 25th, 2009
10:03 am

R T—– This last election must not have taught you anything. A sorry Republican is much better than a Demacrat

getalife

December 25th, 2009
10:34 am

The cajuns gather at the traditional watering hole (the casino) and get hammered after the Indian tribe hands out gifts (free drinks if you gamble). They feast on fine cuisine (casino resturants) and play games all night. The cajuns hand out gifts to the indians too (their money) and everybody are happy.

Merry Christmas.

larry

December 25th, 2009
10:34 am

This last election must not have taught you anything. A sorry Republican is much better than a Demacrat.

This last election proved to me what a mess the sorry republicans made and how much work the democrats have to do to clean it up.
Lets see if we can get the rest of the obstructionalists out of office.

larry

December 25th, 2009
10:35 am

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

AmVet

December 25th, 2009
10:42 am

A sorry Republican?

Sounds like something straight out of the Department of Redundancy Department.

And I do not concur with that “analysis”. That last election did teach all Americans something.

As pitiable as they are and as much as they probably deserved it, November 2008 taught us that not even the BushCo neo-conned can LOSE ALL – as in every single one – of the contested races twice in a row.

Hell, doing it once was epic!

Yes, they came close again to the unimaginable, and one could argue it was like kicking a meaningless field goal to keep from getting shut out, but still, in comparison winning 5 out of 31 looks like a comeback for the ages…

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
10:54 am

“A sorry Republican is much better than a Demacrat”

The 16 years previous to the elections of 2008 prove that statement to be not only wrong, but laughable at best…

Under Clinton/GOP controlled congress we had surpluses and balanced budgets. Under Bush/GOP controlled congress we had expanding government and runaway deficits, then in 2006 to 2008 we had Bush/Democratic congress and the same results as the Bush/GOP congress…

The results speak for themselves, if you choose not to blind yourself to the actual facts…

Jackie

December 25th, 2009
11:04 am

Merry Christmas to all and a joyous and prosperous New Year.

stands for decibels

December 25th, 2009
11:34 am

Read your delightful column in the dead-tree this morning over coffee and the afterglow of unwrapped presents, but prior to my daughter’s first efforts to put her new wheels on the pavement.

Thanks for this, Jay, and for all the nonsense you put up with from so many in here (myself included.)

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Bud Wiser

December 25th, 2009
11:47 am

Merry Christmas to all, including the little toy soldier.

Today shall be spent with family gathered all around, making merry and enjoying the company of all, but not forgetting the reason for the season, godless heathens notwithstanding.

Enjoy the Holidays , all.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
11:47 am

How to tip toe around the truth, Urinal style-

More evidence of a healing economy was a report that orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket durable goods rose in November. The increase was less than expected. But excluding the volatile transportation category, the gains were twice what economists had forecast.

In other words, the post “cash for clunkers” sales fell on their face.

But don’t count them and everything is just peachy keen!

Yay!

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
11:59 am

Only Andy could turn lemonade back into lemons….

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
12:01 pm

We lost a year. But it was not just any year. It was a year of spectacularly squandered opportunity. In Iran, it was a year of revolution, beginning with a contested election and culminating this week in huge demonstrations mourning the death of the dissident Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri — and demanding no longer a recount of the stolen election but the overthrow of the clerical dictatorship.

Obama responded by distancing himself from this new birth of freedom. First, scandalous silence.

Will this revolution succeed? The odds are long but the reward immense. Its ripple effiects would extend from Afghanistan to Iraq (in both conflicts, Iran actively supports insurgents who have long been killing Americans and their allies) to Lebanon and Gaza, where Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, are arming for war.-Krauthammer

How can this not be a winner?

And why does obozo not pursue the victory?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
12:03 pm

This one is on immigration. The Obama administration and Congress are gearing up for a battle over the next six months that promises to be as epic as the health care reform fight.-Urinal

The House and the Senate in 2010?

Bring it on!

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
12:06 pm

Maybe, just maybe it’s because he’s still trying to clean up the mess W made here, and/or maybe, just maybe, it’s up to the Iranian people, not us, to throw off thier oppressors???

Here’s a little history lesson for your tiny mind:

We helped the Afghani’s throw off the evil Russians, how did that work out for us???? We helped the Iraqi’s throw off thier oppressive leader, how did that work out for us???

I’ll look forward to honest answers, but I know I’ll recieve none…

I’m not sure how an uber-Christian like Andy can be war mongering on Christmas day, how does that work? WWJD?

Taxpayer

December 25th, 2009
12:27 pm

Thanks for the pleasant read, Jay. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

The American People

December 25th, 2009
12:28 pm

Oh Oh Oh, this time next year a lot of those Dems will be cleaning out their offices. Its going to be a hoot!

DoggoneGA

December 25th, 2009
12:29 pm

Merry Christmas everyone!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
12:30 pm

Merry Christmas, stooge-

The current regime in Iran is a known quantity and happens to be the worst case scenario all the way around. Fanatical, hellbent pursuit of nuclear weapons, support of Islamic terrorism abroad and meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs, so yeah, side up with them.

Should we expect anything different from the spineless wonders?

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
12:30 pm

Thus far not a single prognostication made the “conservative” trolls here has come to pass… I doubt next years elections will be any different…

@@

December 25th, 2009
12:32 pm

Well, I’ll be…

Stratfor is reporting that the target of a strategic aerial assault in Yemen was none other than Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-Yemen cleric, who is well-known for his ties to U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Awaiting confirmation.

Merry Christmas to our troops at Ft. Hood.

It’s also being reported that the air assault took out some major leaders within AQAP.

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
12:37 pm

“Fanatical, hellbent pursuit of proof of nuclear weapons, support of Christian crusades abroad and meddling in Iran’s internal affairs,”

Pretty much sums up Andy… his words not mine…

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I side with the people’s of Iran and thier right to determine who leads them, I choose not to waste American lives doing it, because it’s up to them, not us.

A hyper violent Toadie who believes in warmongering and violence to achieve Jesus’s peaceful goals, like you, wouldn’t understand the concepts of self-determination, and taking responsibility…

double ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

You’re too easy.

Merry Christmas!

getalife

December 25th, 2009
12:43 pm

Yeah, the world will leave Iran alone when they do have nukes. A deterrent, if you will.

The dems will go after the Latino vote with legal immigration for 2010.

Lets hope 2010 will be the year of accountability with many corrupt politicians indicted, purged or retire from office.

@@

December 25th, 2009
12:45 pm

Taliban video of captured U.S. soldier called ‘a horrible act’

“To release this video on Christmas Day is an affront to the deeply concerned family and friends of Bowe Bergdahl, demonstrating contempt for religious traditions and the teachings of Islam,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

Disgusting war mongrels. Not an ounce of decency among them!

@@

December 25th, 2009
12:55 pm

The Obama administration pledged Thursday to provide unlimited financial assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an eleventh-hour move that allows the government to exceed the current $400 billion cap on emergency aid without seeking permission from a bailout-weary Congress.

The Christmas Eve announcement by the Treasury Department means that it can continue to run the companies, which were seized last year, as arms of the government for the rest of President Obama’s current term.

And that comes with Wall Street style compensation packages for 12 of their top officials.

But even as the administration was making this open-ended financial commitment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they had received approval from their federal regulator to pay $42 million in Wall Street-style compensation packages to 12 top executives for 2009.

The compensation packages, including up to $6 million each to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s chief executives, come amid an ongoing public debate about lavish payments to executives at banks and other financial firms that have received taxpayer aid. But while many firms on Wall Street have repaid the assistance, there is no prospect that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will do so.

Happy Holidays to this administration. Baaa-a-a Humbug to those who support it.

@@

December 25th, 2009
12:56 pm

Oops! Sorry…^^^ that’s from the Washington Post.

@@

December 25th, 2009
12:58 pm

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
1:05 pm

Geez, some people are in the throws of paranoid delusions this beautiful day-

First, scandalous silence.

When did I say war was necessary, stooge?

Condemning the acts of brutality by the regime against the protesters would be enough of a start for me.

But I know this is no Reagan and we have no wall to be torn down, instead we have little world girly and her singing chorus of appeasers, who seem to prefer terror to freedom.

As usual.

getalife

December 25th, 2009
1:36 pm

Yeah @@,

Not much con outrage on their blogs.

FDL and Jane Hamsher covered it and was attacked by the libs for calling for an investigation.

It’s not even on Drudge.

Rightwing Troll

December 25th, 2009
2:39 pm

Hmmm… funny you mentioned ray gun Ronnie, but sidestepped my question as to how his “actions” in Afghanistan directly affect us here today…

As I mentioned, I expected no real answers…

(pssstttt…. Andy, it turns out it was the oppressed peoples of the Eastern Bloc countries that actually tore down that wall… it was thier responsibility, not Ronnie Ray Gun’s…)

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Like I said, wayyyyyyyy too easy….

Merry Christmas!

Tom

December 25th, 2009
2:41 pm

re @@, whiner, et al. Ignorance and bitterness and personal failure never take a day off!!

@@

December 25th, 2009
3:00 pm

Tom:

My family gathers on the eve. My husband’s family gathers on New Year’s Day. Christmas day is spent relaxing. Everyone is free to spend time at leisure. A simple gift, but one enjoyed by all.

On today’s menu…a very light seafood pasta dish. Takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and I do so when I feel like it.

Again! thanks for stopping by just to say hello?

DoggoneGA

December 25th, 2009
3:03 pm

“Ignorance and bitterness and personal failure never take a day off!!”

Yep, I noticed that too.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
3:05 pm

Angry infantile bitterness doesn’t take the day off either, I notice.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

December 25th, 2009
3:06 pm

Ooops, make that angry infantile paranoia. :-)

DoggoneGA

December 25th, 2009
3:12 pm

“angry infantile paranoia”

You should know. You seem intent on embodying that exact state of mind. And you’re making great progress at it too. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

@@

December 25th, 2009
3:13 pm

Junk

December 29th, 2009
5:40 pm

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