Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Seriously though, what is Christmas coming to?

On Saturday night I went for Christmas dinner with my boyfriend and another couple. After some tasty turkey-related treats we headed into town for a few drinks. The other couple were still wearing their Christmas cracker hats at this point and were refused entry to a bar until they agreed to remove them. Bah, humbug!

In a similar vein, Jeremy Paxman has caused something of a furore for refusing to have a Christmas tree and decorations in the Newsnight studio. A tree is prominently displayed on the BBC Breakfast set, which Newsnight shares, but by the evening it is promptly removed. As a result, Paxman has reportedly been nicknamed ‘Scrooge’ by other BBC staff.

This reminds me of an office I worked in five years or so ago. Managed by a lay preacher, all Christmas decorations were banned from the reception area in case they offended clients of other faiths. We weren’t even allowed to put Christmas cards on our desks. Wise up!

These stories represent the absurdity of modern culture to me. We have become so “respectful” of other people’s traditions that we are having to lay down our own. Ok, so Christmas isn’t about trees or decorations, but they certainly make the festive season more fun.

I have lots of Muslim friends and all of them love Christmas. Many have a traditional Christmas dinner (minus the pigs in blankets) and embrace plenty of other Christmas traditions. Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain points out that Muslims “believe in the Bible” and “believe in the teachings of Jesus”. So who are we really showing “respect” to by banning the mention and celebration of Christmas?

Meanwhile, it seems decorations aren’t the only Christmas controversies making the news this year. Police were called to a hotel near Hartlepool last weekend after reports of a disturbance at a Christmas party held for plainclothes police officers! Although the complaints were never substantiated, three police cars and a dog unit were sent to the scene. Talk about the heavy hand of the law.

On a lighter note, a stolen snowman ornament in Victoria, Australia, has become something of a local hero, according to the Herald Sun. The family received emailed photographs of Frosty with a gun and a blowtorch pointed at him. A ransom note telling them to "Meet our demands or the snowman gets it”, was also sent. But the burglars seem to have fallen for the dainty decoration, taking him for a spin on a motorbike and even for a game of pool at the local pub.

I’m not advocating theft, but let’s keep the fun in Christmas. Let’s remember to give generously, to try not to throttle our families and to have plenty of laughs this year. And let’s not forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world. We’re not celebrating “winterval”, it’s CHRISTmas!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Sorted magazine xxx

No comments:

Post a Comment