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Special: Naughty And Nice - A History Of Christmas

Steve Scher
12/24/2010 at 9:00 a.m.

Christmas may be the big kahuna of American holy days, but it wasn't always so. In fact the Puritans banned the holiday altogether. It wasn't until the 1820s that the holiday was re–invented as the peaceful, family–oriented, consumeristic ritual we celebrate today. "BackStory's" year–end special takes on the fascinating history of the holiday season in America. Has Christmas grown more or less religious? When did gifts enter the picture? Was Hanukkah always as important as it is today? What does the history of holidays have to do with the history of the American economy?

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