The Real War on Christmas: Pilgrims Outlawed It; Congress Stayed in Session on Christmas Day until the 1850s

Culture warriors who are invested in the idea that there is a secular, anti-American “War on Christmas” should avoid watching the History Channel’s documentary, “Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas.” Exposure to the historical facts about the holiday could well make their heads explode.

And we wouldn’t want that. Not at Christmas.

As is widely known, it is unlikely Jesus was born in December, a time when it was usually too cold in the Holy Land for shepherds to be watching their sheep in the fields by night. In fact, the holiday wasn’t dedicated to Jesus’ birthday until centuries later — and only after early Christians had co-opted popular pagan mid-winter festivals from Roman and northern European traditions. Christmas primarily took the place of the Romans’ Saturnalia, which was a celebration of debauchery.

According to the History Channel’s overview of the documentary: