Ollie hated Christmas. Well, to be fair, Ollie hated any religious celebration outside of Sunday services. In fact, there was quite a lot that Ollie hated.
He worked hard to make sure laws were passed in his country to insure that not only Christmas, but also Easter and other “saint” days were not observed by the Christian church. And Ollie succeeded.
This was a guy who believed in the dictum, “No more fun of any kind.” Besides his war on Christmas, Ollie worked to outlaw such things as theaters (dens of iniquity, he said), bars (do we need to explain why?), and sports (if you have time for leisure, you have time for work). Even swearing could earn you a lashing in the public square.
It wasn’t enough that he believed Christmas should be ignored; he also initiated the day as a day of fasting in repentance for the previous years of what he perceived as gluttony on a feast day. We have to remember that most poor people in towns didn’t eat meat daily, and that meat meals were sometimes had only on “feast” days–like Christmas. To Ollie, this was an unneeded luxury for people. So, he said that fasts should be observed rather than feasts on December 25th.
You might wonder about Ollie’s justification for this concept, and I’m here to help you with that wondering. Ollie pointed out–rightfully–that the Bible doesn’t actually state when Jesus was born. There is no date stated in the Gospels. The date of December 25th is simply a tradition. Also, the Bible never mandated that the date be observed even if we did know what date Jesus was born. Besides, Ollie, said, Christmas is Catholic, and, if he was anything, he was vehemently anti-Catholic. He was anti-anything that didn’t agree with his incredibly narrow interpretation of God.
Now, to be fair, people still celebrated Christmas–they simply did it much more quietly and secretly. The holiday proved simply too popular to stamp out simply by dictate. And you will find people who said that Ollie had nothing to do with the ban on Christmas but, rather, he merely didn’t stop those who wanted such a ban.
Don’t listen to those people. Nothing happened without his approval while he held power.
And anyone who knew him knew that he was sour, dour, and almost never smiled. Ollie was the original Grinch who Stole Christmas. The only thing he wasn’t was green.
You know him, of course, as Oliver Cromwell.