The History of Parliament blog has a new post today about how Christmas was celebrated, or not, in the mid-17th century, which users Pepys’ diary’s one of its examples:
Pepys invariably began his Christmas Day with church-going, in 1662 and 1664 to two services each day. Later in the day he usually went out. Once he saw a wedding; once he tried to go to the theatre, but there was no play on; and often he socialized with his employer or patron. The 1656 Parliament-men might have approved of his choice of activity on Christmas Day 1663, even though Pepys, with his roving eye when around women he fancied, was hardly a Puritan: he went to his office to work. Some Christmases, though, he stayed in all day with his wife, playing or listening to music; reading or being read to. The diverse pattern of the Pepys household Christmas might give us pause for thought about the supposed binary Yuletide cultural divide.