Traditional Indoor And Outdoor Games - online book

An Illustrated Collection of 320+ Games & Entertainments For Kids of All Ages.

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man came into the hall with a fox and a cat, both tied to the end of a staff, and with them as many as twenty hounds. The animals were then loosed, and the fox and cat were set upon by the hounds and soon despatched. After which, the guests betook themselves to table." The Puritan Christmas
The season of Christmas set apart for sacred obser­vance became more and more but the occasion for revelry and excess of all kinds.
In 1625, Parliament prohibited its observance, and ten years later decreed that it should be kept as a fast. The church-wardens of St. Margaret's, Westminster, were fined for decorating the church with greens. The Puritans overshot the mark. "When the church refused to use her pleasant nets, Satan stole them and made them snares," so, as it was said at the time, "Father Christmas was let in at the back door."
Pepys—that delightful old gossip—describes a Christ­mas dinner "at night " which concluded with "a flagon of ale with apples, out of a wood cup, as a Christmas draught, which made all merry."
Cards were in great favour as a means of Christmas diversion. The crusade against them began later.
As might be supposed, the Puritans brought with them to the New World their prejudice against festivals, and Christmas was elaborately ignored. As time went on, however, the rules against its observance were relaxed. In New Amsterdam, the Dutch kept Christ­mas with great spirit and innocent merriment, and the fact undoubtedly had its influence upon New England in causing these festivals to become national, and "moderate festivities and rejoicing after attendance at the place where God is preached" were permitted.
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