The Massachusetts General Court instituted a fine of five shillings for "observing any such day as Christmas." As part of the Puritans' effort to purify the church, the state, and their personal lives, they have been engaged in a comprehensive program of stripping away what they regard as frivolous and un-Christian trappings that have been added to Christianity over the past 1,500 years.
This includes celebrating the birth of Jesus, especially on a date that originates in pagan religious rituals and festivities.
The full law passed today by the Court says:
"For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals, as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offense to others:
It is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing labour, feasting, or any other way upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending, shall pay five shillings as a fine to the country."