Naughty & Nice: A History of The Holiday Season
Christmas may be the big kahuna of American holy days, but it wasn’t always so. It used to be a time of drunken rowdiness, when the poor would demand food and money from the rich. The Puritans banned Christmas altogether. It wasn’t until the 1820s that the holiday was re-invented as the peaceful, family-oriented, and consumeristic ritual we celebrate today.
In this episode, the History Guys examine the history of the “holiday season” in America. Has Christmas grown more or less religious? How has the holiday evolved and changed here? To what extent was Hanukkah a reaction to Christmas, and how have American Jews shaped and reshaped their own wintertime rituals?
- Stephen Nissenbaum, historian and author of The Battle for Christmas
- John Gibson, host of Fox News Radio and author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse than You Thought
- Rabbi Laura Baum, founder of ourjewishcommunity.org
- Tyrone Jones, Santa Claus impersonator at Cheltenham Square Mall
Listen to individual excerpts from the show, including interviews with historian Stephen Nissenbaum, Rabbi Laura Baum, and Santa impersonator Tyrone Jones.
Listen to more of historian Stephen Nissenbaum’s conversation with 18th century guy Peter Onuf. Here, they discuss the history of Christmas in the slave south.
Click here for a comprehensive list of online resources on the history of Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa.