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In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe.

When Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, canceled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday. The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident. After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under Americas new constitution. Christmas wasnt declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. It wasnt until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday? The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the citys first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.


to rid

to free from

to outlaw

to declare illegal


a former british coin worth one twentieth of a pound


loud and disorderly


a state of extreme confusion or agitation


disappointed and disillusioned with something


a wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of LINKERS Dialog: "As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America."

A linker, or sentence connector, is a word or combination of words that connect words, phrases or clauses in a sentence. In this lesson we're focusing on "as a result", "by contrast" and "in contrast". When we want to express reason or result we use "as a result". When we want to compare the differences between one thing or person to another we use "by contrast" or "in contrast". Although these two linkers mean the same thing, "in contrast" is followed by "with" or "to" and, and requires anoun after it. Whereas "by contrast" is proceeded or followed by the subject of the sentence.

1) AS A RESULT As a result of the strong rains, many homes on the hill are in danger of landslides. The sound system wasn't working properly. As a result, the band had to postpone the show.

2) BY CONTRAST Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" ends with a couple's enjoying their newfound love for each other. By contrast, his play "Macbeth" ends in a tragic death. Helen has blond hair and blue eyes. By contrast, her brother has brown hair and brown eyes.

3) IN CONTRAST (TO/WITH) Cats are very independent animals, in contrast to dogs that are much needier of their owner's attention. In contrast with San Diego, the weather in San Francisco is much colder and rainier. DIFFERENT USES OF "FAVOR" Dialog: "After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas." The word "favor" can be used in many contexts in English. Aside from the meaning in the text, which is something that is of interest, it can mean a gracious or friendly act done freely. It can also mean a small gift given to a guest at a party. As a verb it can mean to be partial to someone or something.

1) FAVOR (noun 1)* Long dresses are in favor this season. (to be in fashion) Once the children became teenagers, going on vacation with their parents fell out of favor. (no longer of interest) 2) FAVOR (noun 2) Could you do me a favor and drop these shirts off at the dry cleaner's? (friendly act done freely) Lisa always asks for favors and never does anything for me! (ask for something to be done for free) 3) FAVOR (noun 3) My friend gave stuffed animal monkeys as party favors to all the kids at her son's first birthday party. (gift given to guest) Each of the wedding guests received a bottle of champagne as a favor. (gift given to guest) 4) FAVOR (verb) My mother always favored my sister over me when we were growing up. (to be partial to) Of all the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors, I tend to favor "Half Baked". (prefer) *Note: This use of "favor" is quite formal. In British English, favor is spelled favour.