Christmas hasn't always been an eggnog-fueled free-for-all in America. There was a time when even whistling a holiday tune was illegal.

The Puritans (aka Protestant Christians) of yore were big fans of Jesus. Back in the mid-1600s, they didn’t like how Christmas was becoming a day people celebrated with festivities like dancing. Oh, and singing. Seasonal decorations? No way. Drinking alcohol, in the eyes of the Puritans, basically booked you a front row seat on the horse carriage to hell. To them, and the Parliament of England whose officials were largely of the Puritan faith, Christmas had become more of a pagan celebration than a solemn day (the exact date of which is still being debated) to observe the birth of Jesus Christ. The end result was a complete ban on Christmas frivolity.

In America, Christmas was not an officially recognized national holiday until 1870, and even then it was a slow road to its acceptance across the country. It was a long way from the 1659 to 1681 years when Bostonians could face a five-shilling fine if caught partaking in any activity Christmas-related, although in its infancy as a national holiday many Americans still preferred to use Thanksgiving as their big day to celebrate something.

Story by Jay Moon