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21 & Over: How alcohol was THIS CLOSE to ruining Christmas

Kate Larson, Staff Writer

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Congratulations, we are almost to the end of the semester. Soon we’ll be on winter break and will be able to kick back with our families and celebrate the holidays. There are a ton of Christmas movies featuring people like us who accidentally almost ruin Christmas with their crazy antics.

Believe it or not, our pal alcohol was the catalyst to a call to cancel Christmas. Yes that’s right: alcohol literally ruined Christmas, and according to history.com, here’s how it happened.

Back in the early Victorian era, Christmas was not all about children and giving like you see in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Christmas was a drunk-fest of the grossest proportions. Huge carnival-style parties were thrown in the streets; Prairie St. on Spring Splash had nothing on these Christmas parties.  The year’s beer and wine were finally fermented and ready for drinking toward the end of December, making them a perfect celebratory drink. Because of all the crazy drunks running around making merry, the Puritans decided to institute a “NO FUN” policy. Thus, the Puritans actually cancelled Christmas completely.

Many of the early pilgrims in America did not celebrate Christmas at all either. Christmas was outlawed, and for a little over 20 years in the 1600s, one could be fined for celebrating Christmas in Boston. Once the Revolutionary War was over, Christmas began to finally be back on the upswing of popularity.

Americans didn’t even declare Christmas a holiday until 1870. With Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol published in 1843 and King Charles making Christmas popular again in England, everyone began to bring back Christmas, but a little differently. They began to institute the traditions we see today, with Christmas being more about family, charity,  gift giving and celebrating religious beliefs with those we love.

Of course they brought back the celebration with alcohol too—what better way to celebrate? What is Christmas without eggnog and that one uncle who talks too much (and if you don’t have that uncle, or relative in general, it’s probably you). Just like every Christmas movie, in the end, Christmas is saved in some way. Thankfully, after many years of being outlawed, we can celebrate the holidays today with our rum punch in hand and a party to look forward to.

Have fun and please drink responsibly this winter break.

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The student news site of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
21 & Over: How alcohol was THIS CLOSE to ruining Christmas