Nobody’s cancelling Christmas.
Nobody. Let’s get that straight from the start.
Winterval was a thing that happened twice, around the Christmas periods in 1997 and 1998, in Birmingham’s town centre. It’s regularly cited by ridiculous tabloid fantasists as a dastardly secularist attempt to stifle Christian expression and abolish all the religious traditions of Christmas.
This notion has been described by Birmingham City Council as “bollocks”.
Their official statement describing this supposedly atheist-driven, Christian-bashing frenzy of political correctness went on to say:
[T]here was a banner saying Merry Christmas across the front of the council house, Christmas lights, Christmas trees in the main civil squares, regular carol-singing sessions by school choirs, and the Lord Mayor sent a Christmas card with a traditional Christmas scene wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
That’s Winterval, folks.
The war on Christmas is another of those things, like the imminent destruction of the world by the Large Hadron Collider, that’s only really believed by twats.
Ooh, that pesky war on Christmas, forcing supermarkets to put their own Christmas stuff on sale from the start of September, surely as part of some dastardly plot to make sure it’s all sold out or spoilt by the time any sane person would actually want to start buying advent calendars and mince pies.
(I don’t really have a way to integrate that line coherently into the rest of the piece, but I wanted to use it somewhere. It’s true, as well. There’s been Christmas stuff up in my local Sainsbury’s for about a month now, with expiration dates in November.)
There’s also a really terrible-looking movie coming out, to inspire Christians to be brave, stick to their guns, and hope that one day they’ll find wider acceptance, at a time of year when everything becomes all about them and their festival anyway. PZ’s description of it as “pandering to the Christian persecution complex” is spot on.
Ed Brayton‘s observation about this hideous movie trailer is also worth noting:
It begins with one character saying, “This is the only time of the year the entire world has this shared experience of peace and hope for the future.” Entire world? … That’s a very telling statement, don’t you think? They define the “entire world” as being populated solely by people that think like them. No one else exists for them. At the very least, no one else even needs to be taken into consideration.
This is the essence of the tribalistic “Us vs. Them” stance some people seem to find it necessary to take about Christmas. Anyone not joining them in celebrating it, in their way, must be against it and seeking its downfall. The idea of other people having their own traditions but not wanting to interfere with yours is alien to some people. Even the possibility that other people might be tolerant doesn’t occur to them.
I love Christmas. Always have. I’ll be listening to carols and spending time with my family and going along with all the standard festive traditions, except some of the more churchy stuff. But some people aren’t into that. And my suggestion, if you don’t want to look like petulant dicks, is that you leave those people alone and be happy with the substantial chunk of world domination you’ve already got. Stop looking for lies and made-up stories that let you feel like the oppressed underdog. You guys are winning.