The Puritans did not celebrate Christmas

To the European world the whole province was a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics…They had no novelists – and would not have permitted anyone to read a novel if one were handy. Their creed forbade anything resembling a theater or “vain enjoyment.” They did not celebrate Christmas, and a holiday from work meant only that they must concentrate even more upon prayer.

– Arthur Miller

The Crucible, Act 1. It wasn’t much fun being a Puritan in Massachusetts, as we learn from the Act 1 Overture. Here Miller paints a vivid picture of the rigidity and intolerance of Puritan society, which had no time for enjoyment or pleasure. It is easy to understand how such a strict and unyielding human environment becomes the breeding ground for the notorious Salem witch trials.