Robert Hampton

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10th December 2006

Now the calendar’s just one page, and of course I am excited
Posted by at 12.45pm | No responses | In the News, Meta

Hurrah! The red and green colour scheme and tacky Christmas clipart have been brought out of storage — with the added bonus this year of a toe-curlingly bad picture of me on the front page.

Ys, the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. Unfortunately, before we get there, we have to endure a month’s worth of “PC killjoys abolish Christmas” headlines in the tabloids.

There’s all sorts of lunacy going around, including the Daily Mail’s assertion yesterday (article not linked online) that there are few Christmas cards available with religious themes (surely just a case of manufacturers responding to the market?). They even went so far as to call for those who want religious cards to boycott non-religious cards (so, you’re going to refuse to buy something that you weren’t going to buy anyway?). Meanwhile, Richard Littlejohn is no doubt waiting to pounce on anyone who writes “Season’s Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas” in their cards.

I think the “War on Christmas” is largely a myth (“bollocks” would be the less polite way of phrasing it). I think there have been a few isolated cases where well-meaning but misguided people have done something or said something negative about Christmas, which then got amplified and whipped up into a media frenzy by certain organisations and individuals with a political agenda (or who simply want to sell books). I resent Christmas being politicised in this way, especially by organisations such as the Daily Mail and Fox News, for whom the central Christmas tenets of “peace” and “goodwill” are not usually high on the agenda.

I’m not a Christian, but I’m quite happy to respect people who are. In the meantime, I will celebrate Christmas in my own way as a secular event (and before anyone complains about that, remember that Christmas is a restyling of a Pagan festival which was held every December long before Jesus appeared on the scene). I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels that way.

The Guardian had a good piece on the subject on Friday. If you’re not happy to believe the sandal-wearing hippies at that paper, you could just try walking along the street I live on, where already several houses (including my own) are bedecked in ridiculously over-the-top Christmas lights. If there is a War on Christmas, it’s a one-sided affair.

So there.

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