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We often get questions about crazy or unusual laws. This is one we can actually verify!

In 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted a law called Penalty for Keeping Christmas. The notion was that such “festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries” were a “great dishonor of God and offence of others.” Anyone found celebrating Christmas by failing to work, “feasting, or any other way… shall pay for every such offence five shillings.” [This would be about $48 today].

You can find an interesting discussion of the evolution of opinion on Christmas in the region at  Wikipedia’s Christmas in Puritan New England.

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