Christmas has found itself on the wrong side of the law and public opinion through the centuries, and sometimes for good reason. But Christmas-bashing in America can be traced as far back as 1659. That was the year that William Bradford, Governor of the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth, signed into law a ban on celebrating Christmas. That law would remain in force for more than twenty years. Why such a Grinch-like attitude from such a pious community? A hint might come from the writings of Reverend Increase Mather, who complained in 1687 that Christmas was mostly celebrated “in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in mad Mirth.” Sounds like a Puritan Christmas was a lot like New Year’s Eve.