Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/10/31/five-key-concepts-in-the-reformation-understanding-of-justification/
In 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg. It was his expression of frustration with the Catholic Church, and with it began 131 years of the Protestant Reformation.
The Protestant Reformation (1517-1648) put a damper on Christmas celebrations. Groups such as the Puritans strongly condemned the celebration of Christmas, considering it a Catholic invention and the "trappings of popery" or the "rags of the Beast". In Colonial America, the Puritans of New England shared radical Protestant disapproval of Christmas, and, for example, celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
In Colonial America, the Puritans of New England shared radical Protestant disapproval of Christmas, and, for example, celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
The Reformation also opposed the veneration of saints and so Martin Luther moved gift giving on St. Nicholas day to gift giving on Christmas, to focus the interest of the children less on St. Nicholas and more on Christ. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus
It wasn’t just the Puritans who put a damper on Christmas. Those that still celebrated the holiday did so in a way that made many people uncomfortable. As governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony wrote in 1621, he was not so much bothered by people celebrating the holiday as he was that they were out “gambling and reveling in the streets. In the mid 1700’s James Franklin’s almanac cautioned that men should refrain from excessive drinking during Christmas, and Benjamin Franklin wrote a verse in Poor Richard’s Almanac supporting moderation, sobriety and self-control when celebrating the holiday. Nathaniel Ame’s almanacs admonished against excess during the Christmas season, and a New York newspaper complained in 1722 about the absence of decency, temperance and sobriety during the season, arguing that too much time was spent in gaming, drunkenness, quarreling and swearing.
Much the same was also happening in England. For an excellent discussion of the conflict between Puritans and Catholics over the celebration of Christmas, see: http://www.historytoday.com/chris-durston/lords-misrule-puritan-war-christmas-1642-60
Clearly, a new approach to Christmas was needed, something more “home” focused.