Some locals told me recently that the tourists were on the rude side this year. I mentioned it to you previously a couple of times.

Last night, I experienced it.

I was at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. Seated at the bar. Did not want to fight the heavy traffic to get downtown. The bar was packed. However, two seats opened up. One on each side of me.

I was in the middle of my meal.

A gruff voice said, “Please move.”  Not nice at all. The “please” too harsh to be considered nice.

It was a couple. The woman doing the talking. Beautiful! Extremely so. Very overdressed for Key West.

The man looked like he just left the pool. Tee shirt, shorts, toes, hair a mess.

Had the lady waited a few seconds,  I would have seen them, I would have moved without being asked.

I moved. My dinner, silver wear, napkin, two drinks, bread, butter, and newspaper.

They sat. Three minutes later they were up and on their way out. The lady looked at me and said, “We are being ignored.” I asked where will you go. Downtown. Have a reservation? No.

My advice was you are better off staying here. Service a bit slow because the bar is crowded. The food excellent. The entertainment outstanding. If you go downtown, you have to fight the traffic. Find a parking place. They had their own car. Then wait 1-1.5 hours to get a table because you have no reservation.

They knew better. Walked away without a word.

Things were moving. A third seat opened. Three bar seats in a row. Unusual!

Three persons took them. One a lady around my age. With some trouble moving. Unsteady on her feet. The couple probably her daughter and daughter’s husband. In their late 50s, early 60s..

The older woman went to get on the stool next to me. She was having trouble. She was short. As she went up to sit, she started to fall. She fell into me and I grabbed he to stop her falling further. The women kept saying to me, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

The daughter had not seen the fall. She heard the I am sorry’s, however. What are you doing to my mother? I was still holding her. It was like I was abusing the woman.

I explained and the mother did. The daughter was still pissed. She moved her mother three seats away. The daughter sat next to me, the terror of Tavern ‘n Town.

I was glad my dinner was almost over.

Key West exceptionally crowded. Must say it again. Many Japanese tourists. Unusual. Driving next to impossible. People crossing streets without looking. Traffic lights mean nothing to pedestrians and bicyclists.

I had been at Body Owners late morning. Headed downtown afterwards. Had a haircut appointment with Lori. A normally 15 minute trip took 35 minutes. Then, 20 minutes to find a parking place.

I was not a happy camper.

Key West City fathers encourage more and more people to visit. However, they fail to consider how to handle the crowds. Especially, the parking aspect.

Lori and I discussed the crowd situation and her business this time of the year. Her tale always the same.

Business slow the week before a holiday. Tourists already had their hair dome before they came to visit. Her business picks up dramatically the week after. The locals have extra money because of the holiday. They come in in droves to get their hair done.

Syracuse lost to Pitt last night 72-61. The game closer than the score indicates. I thought Syracuse looked good. However, still needs that big man. Pitt controlled the boards 2-1. Scored 22 points on rebounds off the offensive board.

My New Year’s Eve predetermined. A daughter of Don and Stephanie marrying tonight. I am invited. I look forward to the wedding celebration.

This week’s KONK Life column Political Sexcapades linked this morning to my Key West Lou website. .keywestlou.com. An interesting article. Involves Trump and the Clintons.

Everything in moderation tonight. For me and for you.

Happy New Year!



People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Jesus says…..Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

The Bible tells us…..As ye sow, so shall ye reap. The good Book comments…..How the mighty will fall.

Justin Timberlake wrote a song titled…..What Goes Around, Comes Around.

From biblical times to every day accepted admonitions to modern-day song, the message is clear. Beware. Bad deeds return to bite you in the ass.

The thrust of this column involves the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings. Brought about by his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky in the White House. During times when Lewinsky was a federal intern or employee. The affair involved oral copulation. Never intercourse.

Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives and following trial by the Senate acquitted.

Certain elected officials pursuing Clinton’s impeachment were adulterers or guilty of other deviant sexual behavior. Prior to, during and subsequent to Clinton’s acquittal.

This column examines the conduct of such persons. Elected officials dirty themselves. Perfect examples of the pot calling the kettle black.

All to be discussed were Republicans. Clinton a Democrat.

Newt Gingrich was the leader of the Republican revolution in 1994. The Republicans took control of Congress for the first time in 44 years. Gingrich soon became Speaker.

Gingrich led the impeachment drive. He thought it despicable that the President, a federal official, would have sex in a federal building, the White House, with a federal intern/employee.

While the drive to impeachment was going on, Gingrich was having an affair with Callista Bisek, a House of Representative staffer. She was 23 years his junior. The sexual relationship ran 1993 to 1998 at which time Gingrich resigned from the House of Representatives. He admitted to the affair.

Gingrich was married to his second wife during the time of the affair. Divorced the second wife and married Bisek after his resignation.

Robert Livingston was a Louisiana Congressman.  He called for the resignation of Clinton. The Republican conference voted for Livingston to succeed Gingrich as Speaker.

Soon after the conference vote and before the official vote, it was discovered Livingston had multiple extramarital affairs. His wife encouraged him to resign from Congress and urge Clinton do the same. Livingston resigned. Clinton did not.

Dennis Hastert of Illinois voted for Clinton’s impeachment. He was elected Speaker following the Gingrich and Livingston resignations.

Hastert served eight years as Speaker. Then resigned. Resigned because he wanted to. He was not forced to do so for any reason.

Last year, Hastert was indicted for violation of federal banking rules.

In his early years, Hastert was a school teacher and coach. It was discovered he had sexually abused three of his students. One of the students wanted Hastert to pay him to not publicly reveal the matter. Hush money.

Hastert paid this individual $1.7 million over a period of time. It was how Hastert made the payments that violated federal law.

Bob Barr of Georgia was one of the leaders in the move to impeach Clinton. He was the first lawmaker to publicly call for Clinton’s resignation because of the Lewinsky matter. He was one of the managers (prosecutors) during the impeachment trial itself before the Senate.

It was discovered Barr had an affair while married.

Dan Burton was another holier than thou.

He too was a leader in seeking Clinton’s impeachment. He said, “No one…..should be allowed to get away with sexual improprieties.”

In 1998, Vanity Fair revealed Barr had an affair in 1983. The affair produced a child. Barr admitted fathering a son with a former state employee.

Helen Chenoweth-Hage was a Congressperson from Idaho. She called and voted for Clinton’s impeachment. In 1998, she admitted to having an affair with a married man for six years. This was before her entering Congress. She was single at the time.

Henry Hyde was a major Congressional figure during impeachment time. He was one of those pushing for Clinton’s impeachment. He was Chairman of the Managers (Chief Prosecutor) who presented evidence against Clinton during the Senate trial.

His affair came to light in 1998, also. It was claimed he had an affair from 1965-1969. Before his election to Congress. The affair was with a married woman who had three children. Hyde was 41 at the time the affair began. He was married.

Hyde admitted to the affair in 1998. He blamed it on “youthful indiscretion.”

News of Hyde’s affair broke while Hyde was spearheading impeachment proceedings.

Stephen C. La Tourette voted to impeach Clinton. He was having an affair at the time with his Chief of Staff, Jennifer Laptook. La Tourettewas married at the time.

David Vitter’s story is interesting. Both Vitter and Livingston were from Louisiana. Vitter took over Robert Livingston’s seat when Livingston resigned because of his extra marital affair.

Vitter said at the time, “I think Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Bill Clinton should resign as well.”

Vitter went on to become a U.S. Senator.

In 2007, Vitter was seeking the Republican nomination for President. His campaign came to an immediate halt when Vitter’s name was discovered in the address book of DC Madam Deborah Jane Palfrey.

You may ask why this article at this time. The reason is the present state of the smoldering Trump/Clinton war.

Clinton charges Trump is a sexist. Probably so. Trump responds with a warning. Saying in effect if you’re going to get into sex, BE CAREFUL.

Neither is Simon pure. There appears to be checkered activities by both in years gone by.

I fear the election is going to get down and dirty. Perhaps the dirtiest Presidential campaign ever. Gutter politics at its worst.

No one will come out clean.

Nor will the American people benefit.

It bothers me that sex continues to be so important in the United States. European nations laugh that we give sex such importance.

I believe we may be at that time when we give less importance to the sexual lives of people. We live in an age where same sex marriage is legal. Transgenderism is accepted In many states. California has laws protecting transgender in certain situations.

People cohabit and live many years or all their years as a family. Bearing children. Never marrying.

Heterosexual divorce is no longer a bar to the Presidency.

Bisexuality does not seem to faze anyone. Homosexuality in the military no longer a problem.

It is a new world. It may be anti-religious. It may not be what all of us like.That is the way it is, however.

So when the dirt starts flying in this campaign, take it in stride. I suspect the two major candidates have skeletons hidden in their closets.


No blog today. I have poison in my pen. Better I write nothing at all.


The Chart Room last night.

The bar was empty when I arrived. A good sized crowd by the time I left. Nothing however like the hordes on the streets and sidewalks. The biggest Christmas week crowd I have seen.

Victor and I chatted about dogs. Victor has two. I do not recall the breed. Showed me a picture. Lovely! About 20 pounds each. We talked about love, training and other dog things.

It started to get busy. A young couple sat next to me. After a while, the male part asked if I was Key West Lou.

Robb asked the question. Robb is 35. He was with his lady friend Jordan who is 27. Charming people. Presently from Jacksonville. Both school teachers. Robb, high school math. Jordan, pre-K.

Jordan has a distinguished background. While in college, she was an All-American lacrosse player. Impressive!

Robb has visited Key West several times. This a first time visit for Jordan.

Robb says he reads my blog daily. Jordan affirmed his statement. Robb spouted out things I write about. His recollection better than mine.

Robb had prepared a list of places to go. Based on blog comments. A compliment.

Yesterday, they had lunch at Hogfish. Last night, dinner was scheduled for the Hot Tin Roof following our visit. He was in the Chart Room with Jordan last night hoping to find me.

The visit a great one. I look forward to being with them again in the future.

Two Key Westers on the front page of the Key West Citizen this morning. One’s story a happy one. The other, sad.

Happy first.

Bobby Nesbitt the Familiar Face designee. More than 40 years in Key West. A Key West icon. An entertainer supreme. I love hearing Bobby sing!

Sad next.

Former Judge Tegan Slaton died. He had some medical problems in 2014 and resigned. One, he fell asleep during a trial.

I met the Judge only once. The bocce playoffs several months after his resignation. Our teams were playing each other. The Judge was a member of the #1 monday night team. They had won the playoffs several years in a row. I figured they were going to kill us. They did.

At some point, the Judge came over and asked if I was Key West Lou. I said yes. He thanked me for neither writing about him nor dumping on him when he was having his problems. The Judge a class act, I thought. I thanked him. I never dump on a person who is down.

May the Judge rest in peace. To me, a good guy who met some bumps in the road.

Key West is a dog community. Thursday, the 11th Annual Dachshunds Walk.

Meadowlark Lemon passed on. One of the great, if not greatest, Harlem Globetrotter players. I enjoyed watching him play several times in the 1950s and 1960s. Generally with my Dad, which added to the experience.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a quick hard hitting half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include the brewing Trump/Clinton sex war, warmongering pays, numbers showing the economy not really in recovery, a cashless society around the corner, transgender rights moving faster than gay rights ever did, IRS by law to use bill collectors rather than IRS agents to collect defaults, a Kentucky mall fight involving 2,000, and more.

Enjoy your day!


Sunday was a full day for me. A good one.

I got to watch Dr. Zhivago for the umpteenth time. Always exciting! Love Russian history! The film based on Boris Pasternak’s novel of the same name.

A Russian movie I enjoy even more is War and Peace. Based on Leo Tolstoy’s book.

I have only seen the movie two times. It does not get played on TV. I saw it in a movie theater when it first came out in 1956. A few years later on TV. Since, no more. I wish Turner or someone would start running it.

War and Peace’s music got to me. Even more than Dr. Zhivago’s. The theme song is a waltz. The mind dances through many of the scenes.

The book was torture to read. Eleven hundred plus pages. The last 25 percent more philosophy rather than historical novel.

I wrote this week’s KONK Life column. Political Sexcapades. An interesting title. An interesting story. Begins with the sexual lives of those who “persecuted” President Clinton re Monica Lewinsky. It ends with the admonition that most are sinners.

Trump has threatened Clinton to be careful if she is going to play the sexism card. I warn/predict a down and dirty campaign. Perhaps the dirtiest ever.

A scenario that should not be. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone type thing.

The column publishes wednesday.

Even got to watch the Syracuse/Texas Southern game. Syracuse won 80-67.

The honeymoon is over. Syracuse play will now be in the ACC. The ACC season starts wednesday night when Syracuse plays Pittsburgh.

A quick dinner at Roostica. Sunday night is spaghetti, meatballs and sausage as my grandmother and mother prepared.

Duval and its side streets are crowded. It is like high season. A big Key West New Year’s Eve ahead.

Key West Citizen’s Keys History notes that on this day during Eisenhower’s Presidency, Eisenhower arrived in Key West to recuperate from a heart problem.

Eisenhower was probably aware of how restful Truman found our island.

Enjoy your day!


The  Key West Citizen has its pluses and minuses. As with everything. The outstanding feature of the newspaper is the Citizens’ Voice. A column on the left side of page 2. Readers write in and express their thinking re various issues. Pro and con. Simple and hard hitting.

The Citizens’ Voice is missing from this morning’s paper. Why? What happened? In its place is an Associated Press article on how to make a particular cocktail.

I cannot believe the Citizen is considering discontinuing Citizens’ Voice. It works. Needs no fixing. Not broke.

My friend Sheila Cullen is a staff member at the Citizen. Her job is to prepare Citizens’ Voice each day. She selects what should be printed from the many comments received. She takes her job seriously. As Sheila tells it, she tries to send both sides to print. Her aim is to be fair and balanced.

I tried to reach Sheila this morning to get the poop. I could not reach her. Ergo, I write this column  in the dark as to the reason why it is absent from today’s Citizen.

I researched this week’s KONK Life column yesterday afternoon. Research complete. I will be writing the column today between Meet The Press and the Syracuse basketball game and after the game.

The title: Political Sexcapades. The research off the wall. Politicians have difficulty keeping their pants and panties on.

The column zeroes in on Clinton’s impeachment. Not the impeachment itself. We all know about it. Rather the column concerns certain of those who tried to bring the President down and their secret sex lives. Sort of a people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. They all got their come uppings in due course. Proving that what goes around, comes around.

A great article! You will enjoy it.

Life returned to normal last night after the holiday. I took myself to Tavern ‘n Town. A good crowd. Locals and visitors.

Bobby Nesbitt entertaining.

Ran into Lynda and Bob Frechette. A popular and well liked Key West couple.

It is said that a successful man has a good woman behind him. The reverse true here. Bob is the man behind Lynda who helps her goals and dreams reality. We always hear about Lynda. Rarely, Bob. They are a team.

I am anti-Trump. Write accordingly. Mentioned yesterday that over the holiday I did not meet one person supporting him. Also that those supporting him are whiter, older, less educated, and more blue collar.

I received two strong comments. One from a Key West MBA who is voting for Trump. The other a strong / almost defiant comment that the writer supported Trump.

Good! I love it! This is what it is all about. Free expression, a two party system, etc. We are each other’s indispensable opposition. Think about it.

Syracuse basketball this afternoon. Playing Texas Southern. Syracuse a 17 point favorite. We shall see.

Sal Salerno is recognized as one of Key West’s artistic greats! Perhaps the greatest. A man of international acclaim. A several generation Key Wester. A true Conch.

Salerno died recently.

A Celebration of Life in his honor will take place tomorrow evening from 7-9. At the Gingerbread Square Gallery which Salerno and his husband Joe Birn owned.

I guarantee there will not be enough room in the Gallery and its Courtyard to hold the many who will be attending to pay tribute.

Enjoy your Sunday!


It is the day after Christmas. Normally would mean 364 days till next Christmas. Not this time. 2016 is a Leap Year. An extra day. February 29. Ergo, 365 days till Christmas.

This Christmas holiday seemed exceptionally quiet. Nothing wrong with quiet. If you have not felt the quietness yet, I suspect you will by the time the weekend is over. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, followed by the weekend. Four days makes for a long holiday.

Yesterday morning was open gift time. Robert and Ally were thrilled with every gift received. As it should be. Gift opening followed by a long leisurely breakfast prepared by Lisa. Excellent.

I was home by 10. My Christmas over.

The news has been speaking of how warm it continues to be up north. It is the same in Key West. I am still in shorts and a shirt. Have not had to wear even a sweat shirt.

The weather this past week averaged 81 degrees. Speaks for itself.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports that the average Key West temperature this year at 79.9 degrees. The hottest year ever. Consider at the same time that worldwide, temperatures have risen to new highs.

Global warming?

Harry Truman loved Key West. Key West loves Harry Truman. He visited Key West 11 times for a total of 175 days.

Truman died this date in 1972 at the age of 88.

The Presidential election has been less than normal. Thanks to Trump. The campaign has deviated from issues to personal attacks.

I fear that the campaign is going to erupt into one of the dirtiest ever. A down and dirty fight. Trump plays in the gutter. He brings the battle down to that level. Sexism is already a part of the campaign. I predict the campaign will become more revealing and personal.

People discuss the campaign. No, people discuss Trump.

Over the past few days, I have not found one person who is for him. Most emotionally against him. How then is he so far ahead in the polls? Could this be a year when the polls are not correct?

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson in a recent column indicated that the composition of the Republican Party has changed. It is now whiter, older, less educated, and more blue collar. Trump is leading them like a Pied Piper.

Enjoy your day!


Merry Christmas!

Sorry to be late with the blog. My presence was required at Lisa’s at 7 am to open presents. Followed by a great breakfast.

Christmas Eve outstanding!

Santa Claus stopped in on his way to deliver gifts in China. So he said. We were the last stop. Robert and Ally do believe. Amazing! Everyone got to sit on Santa’s lap for gifts and pics. Santa brought a large bag containing gifts for each of us.

This was Santa’s fifth visit to Robert and Ally. I found him through Patrick Hayes. Pattycakes always knew the right person for a particular job. My home has been cared for by a Patrick referred landscaper, pool man, cleaning lady, etc. over the years.

Christmas Eve dinner. The best yet. Outstanding preparation by Lisa.. Several fishes. Not seven yet, however. Stuffed artichokes for the first time. It has been years since I have tasted one. Delicious! It was part of Christmas Eve dinner during my Utica years.

Robert and Ally enjoyed the whole evening. It is all for the kids! Robert and Ally are now big into tennis. Taking lessons, going to camps, etc. Santa had in his goody bag a new racquet for each of them. Top grade. Of course, Santa left other gifts when he returned in the middle of the night.

Because of the holiday, I will not be interviewed at 12:30 on KONK News. There is no show today.

Enjoy your Christmas Day!



Christmas is my favorite holiday. Especially Christmas Eve.

Seven fishes, Santa Claus, twenty plus to dinner.

The meal outstanding. Baccala that took three weeks to prepare. Shrimp fried in egg batter. Smelts. All to die for. Prepared only at Christmas Eve.

Santa Claus always visited. Just before dinner. For my children and grandchildren. He visits in Key West also. Dinner tonight is at Lisa’s. Santa will be there. He will arrive just before dinner.

I think Robert and Ally are conning us. They are 11 and 10 respectively. Still believe in Santa Claus. I find it hard to believe. Most kids know the truth by their ages. Friends at school have had to tell them.

Lisa will have prepared a seven fish meal. The food excellent. However, she has yet to hit seven. I think the best has been five.

Jake will eat well tonight! We are generally told not to feed him. Everyone does.

I look beautiful! I have eight blood scabs on my head. All visible.

Yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. It was work for some reason. Staff all dressed in Christmas attire. Friend Dave working out.

Followed the treadmill with a manicure. Tammy. The place was busy. Very crowded. Women getting ready for the holiday. Coming in without appointments. You must do me! Come back in an hour! Tension.

I was the only male. I had an appointment.

Then did Christmas shopping! Could not get it done all in one day. Two more items to get. I know what. Will be easy later this morning.

I stayed home last night and wrapped gifts.

How life changes. I never wrapped gifts when married. I have to do it now. If not me, who?

I need a woman. You already are aware for sex and cooking. Wrapping Christmas presents has now been added to the list.

The Trump/Clinton battle is warming up.

Sex is on the table. Hillary says Trump is “angry and vulgar.” A “sexist.” That he has “a penchant for sexism.” Trump countered with a threat that if we are going to get into sex, Hillary should BE CAREFUL.

It is leaning towards the down and dirty. Trump has thrown the gauntlet. Will Hillary respond?

I do not like the way the discourse is going. Trump’s fault. No question. Sex is not what a Presidential campaign should be about.

This week’s KONK Life column An American Christmas was linked this morning to my Key West Lou website. Enjoy!

Enjoy your Christmas Eve also!



Christmas today and Christmas yesterday are as different as day and night.

The precursor of today’s Christmas is rooted in paganism. Paganism involving debauchery, drinking, rape, murder, and anti-Semitism. Paganism that  preceded the birth of Christ by centuries.

The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas. No one was even sure if December 25 was the day Jesus was born.

Roman pagans celebrated the earliest event. A week-long party. Ended on December 25. Where the forces of darkness prevailed. Sex, food and drink in abundance. Many murders, for the fun of it.

The Greeks enjoyed a holiday made famous in Lucian’s Saturnalia. More despicable. In addition to drinking, rape and sexual license, human sacrifice.

Saturnalia is the predecessor of Christmas.

The Catholic Church wanted to convert the pagans. Actually, the Catholic Church wanted to increase its numbers. The Church offered the pagans a deal. You join us and you can still celebrate all those Saturnalia things you are accustomed to doing. The pagans agreed and the Saturnalia Carnival came into being.

The Catholic Church participated in and permitted Jews to be ridiculed and suffer. Pope Paul II was head of the Catholic Church in 1466. Part of the celebration involved Jews being force-fed/overfed and then compelled to run along the streets of Rome. Difficult with a full belly. People pelted the Jews with rotten fruit, vegetables and stones. The Pope reportedly watched and laughed.

The Saturnalia Carnival continues through the 18th and 19th centuries. Relatively recent times. Jews continued to be persecuted. They were murdered, women raped, their property destroyed. Rabbis were made to don clownish attire and run the streets. While running, they were jeered and pelted.

Jews asked the Papacy to stop such activities. Pope Gregory XVI refused.

Many of today’s Christmas customs find their origins in the pagan celebrations.

The Christmas tree is one. Pagans for whatever reason worshiped trees in the forest. Eventually, the trees found their way into pagan homes and were decorated.

The mistletoe. Kiss me under the mistletoe. Druids used the mistletoe to poison human sacrificial victims. Norse mythology spoke of two Gods fighting over the female Wanna. The two synthesized to become reflective of the sexual lives of Saturnalia and the Druid’s sacrificial cult.

Christmas presents. In pre-Christian Rome, emperors compelled Rome’s most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during Saturnalia. With the advent of Christianity, the Catholic Church gave gift giving a Christian flavor by bringing St. Nicholas into the picture.

St. Nicholas initially was a combination of good and evil.

St. Nicholas himself was saintly. Of Turkish origin. Died in the mid 300s AD. In 1087 AD, his bones were moved from Turkey to Bari, Italy. He was interred in the burial-place of a traditional Italian woman who had been famous for bringing gifts to children on December 6. St. Nicholas assumed her gift giving qualities merely by burial in her place.

The Catholic Church pushed the pagans to adopt St. Nicholas. Such began gift giving in what finally became Christmas.

Santa Claus as he is visualized today in his bright red clothes and rosy cheeks can be attributed to Coca Cola. In 1931, Coke wanted a “Coke Drinking Santa.” Coke ordered its advertisers to give them such. The result is the Santa Claus of today.

Christmas today is the combination of Christian carnival, pagan gods and a modern-day commercial.

As to America itself, let’s see how the preceding played out.  Starting with the first settlers, the Puritans.

On this wonderful Christmas Day 2015, most of us will be sitting back happy with ourselves. In a joyous festive mood. Thankful for family and friends. Pleased by gifts and food.

And we might believe that Christmas in the United States has always been such. That Christmas as we know it always existed.
Shockingly, it did not!
We start with the Puritans. Those hearty immigrants from England to the shores of Massachusetts. Those who gave us Thanksgiving.

Christmas they did not give us. In fact, they took Christmas away from us. The earliest Scrooges of record!
From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston. By the Puritans. They believed that Christmas was not consistent with their Puritan ideas and religious reforms. So they abolished Christmas!

The Puritans were descendant from the Reformation. Certain Protestant groups opposed Christmas celebrations. They firmly believed the holiday was rooted in paganism. It was. Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas in England.

Christmas remained a no no through the American Revolution. The English influence in the colonies prevailed. Christmas could not gain a foothold.

A few years after the Revolution, the colonists, rid of English influence, started celebrating Christmas. But it was not Christmas as we know it.

The early 1800s found Christmas being celebrated in a bit of a rowdy fashion. Much like Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Then came a couple of books which influenced the situation.

The first was by Washington Irving. In 1809, he wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon. It portrayed Christmas as a peaceful loving holiday. Many attribute Irving’s novel as setting the mood for present day Christmas.

Irving actually created with words Christmas Day as we know and celebrate it. He mentally conceived his concept of Christmas and wrote it on paper. Christmas to that point had not been as he portrayed it.

About the same time, there was another writing. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This, too, captured the American imagination.

During the 1830s, several southern states legalized December 25 Christmas Day as a holiday. The first was Alabama in 1836.

The South continued to favor and celebrate Christmas up to the time of the Civil War. Whereas, the North basically paid little attention to the day. Christmas had become a Southern thing.

Now comes the Civil War. Lincoln wanted to demoralize the Confederate troops. He wanted to show that the South’s Santa Claus was on the side of the North. He authorized a famous artist late in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The picture was the front cover on January 3, 1863 of a prominent national magazine. It was sort of God is on our side thing. Some believe it achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

President Ulysses S. Grant is given credit for making Christmas a national holiday. I question the accuracy of the representation. In 1870, Grant signed a bill into law regarding Christmas Day. The new law read that Christmas “…shall be a holiday within the District of Columbia.” The  District of Columbia is not the whole of the United States. However, Grant is usually given credit for making Christmas a national holiday by that act.

The last state to legalize Christmas as a legal holiday was Oklahoma in 1907.

I suspect that it was the combination of Grant’s signing regarding the District of Columbia and all of the states legalizing the holiday that finally made Christmas Day a national holiday.

Christmas Day received a further boost by the 1897 editorial in the Sun of New York. We all know it. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Christmas was practiced and recognized as a holiday through World War II. For whatever reason, it received its most gigantic step forward recognition and celebration wise following World War II. Everyone got into the act after the war! Maybe because people were happy and grateful to have won.

Such is the story of Christmas and especially America’s Christmas from its earliest times to today.

Merry Christmas!