History: Imagine… Arrested for Celebrating Christmas… in America!

Would you believe that in the early American Colonies it was a sin to express happiness? Especially religious joy? (Sounds like Iran where the young people were arrested for dancing to Pharrell William’s song “Happy.”) In Puritan America, if you were caught celebrating Christmas you were arrested and punished. Public displays of merriment were forbidden, including Christmas. Religion was not something to be happy about. Skip forward three-hundred years. Have we changed or what? People are knocking each other over in malls rushing into stores open at midnight. Today, for many Americans, Christmas isn’t about religion. Yet for others it’s a very religious holiday. Whatever Christmas means to you, religion, family, gift-giving, festivities, we can all be thankful that America progressed and we can express ourselves through a variety of religious, ethnic and/or pagan holidays and not get arrested for it. Suellen Ocean is the author of The Last Quadroon. Available here:


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