Misrule & Mayhem: The Origins of American Christmas

Reynolds Scott-Childress, friend of the shop and assistant professor of history at SUNY New Paltz, presents a historical—and sometimes hilarious—recounting of how the United States' modern-day Christmas traditions came to be. This event is free with a purchase from the bar, and is best enjoyed with a strong winter ale or a warm cup of mulled wine. (Food and non-alcoholic options also available.) Please, no outside food or drink.ABOUT THE EVENT:Our Puritan forebears did not like Christmas celebrations. They feared that the anarchic drinking and lewd celebrations of the season by agricultural laborers, craft workers, and servants would spoil their dreams of perfecting the “City on a Hill.”This talk will explore the topsy turvy Christmas practices of cross-dressing, public fornication, and particularly wassailing—songs through which the revelers presented their wealthy neighbors a yuletide choice: provide the best wine of their cellars, the whitest bread of their kitchens, the finest clothes of their closets for the merrymakers or face the consequences of smashed windows, stolen livestock, burned barns. We'll also discuss how these practices evolved in the early 1800s into the domestic celebration of Christmas we know now.Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. RSVPs via Eventbrite are not required, nor do they guarantee a seat, but they are much appreciated—they help us keep in touch in case there's a change, and they let us know how many people to expect. ** If planning to purchase food, please arrive at least 20 minutes before 5 pm to place your order. ** RSVP here!

Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 5 pm to 6 pm
Rough Draft Bar and Books
82 John Street

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