Grandma, were you alive when it was still called Christmas?

Have yourself a merry little Winterfest. That’s what they’re calling the season in Stoke-on-Trent, the latest city council to go utterly bonkers and rebrand Christmas.

Forget Santa and his reindeer, let alone the little baby Jesus – the switching on of Stoke’s lights featured a giant Jack Frost freezing the streets with a firebird chasing him down. Cue outrage.

“The politically correct brigade on the council think it’s fair game to discriminate against Christians by calling Christmas ‘Winterfest’,” said Edward Cook, one of many residents who complained to the Stoke Sentinel. “I assume it is so that Muslims are not offended.”

There is still a tree by the town hall, but the decision to bundle traditional celebrations with an expensive, spiritually neutral arts event called Winterfest has been taken by some as a sign that the councillors of multi-faith Stoke are embarrassed by a festival with Christ in the name.

They should have known there would be a hostile reaction, having tried this a decade ago.

People come to live in western Christian countries, and end up being offended by those already there for generations.  There is something inherently screwy about that.

“People are disgusted that we are giving the impression that this Winterfest is part of a dumbing down of Christmas,” said the Conservative leader Roger Ibbs back then. “Instead of helping ease tension in the city, Winterfest is creating a big problem.”

Now they’re at it again, but Stoke is not alone. There are more examples than ever this year of councils, organisations and institutions avoiding Christmas for fear of upsetting unbelievers.

A survey of festive cards sent out by local authorities across Britain found only one out of 182 that mentioned the birth of Christ. That was from Banbridge in Northern Ireland. Nearly half of the cards ignored Christmas, preferring phrases such as Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays. Some had pictures of the council offices on the front; one showed a bus shelter.

Meanwhile, a straw poll of 2,000 users of the Netmums website found evidence of schools pushing aside traditional elements in their nativity plays to make room for characters such as spacemen, footballers and Elvis Presley. Only a third of schools go for the full traditional Nativity, according to the survey. Some prefer “winter celebrations”, or replace carols with pop songs.

Nothing like Mohammed Christ bopping over the stage singing “You know I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it”

Who are they frightened of offending? Most atheists I know seem perfectly willing to tolerate what they see as a fairy story, as long as their child gets to play Mary or Joseph (or the Angel Gabriel – that’s the real glamour part).

The Muslim Council of Great Britain has made it clear where it thinks the followers of Islam stand, by adapting a famous, fashionable wartime poster to say: “Keep Calm, It’s Christmas”. This was released with the words: “Who wants to ban Christmas? Not Muslims. None of us will be offended if you go ahead and enjoy the Christmas cheer.”

Jesus is an important prophet to Muslims. “So whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, may these holidays bring joy and happiness to you and your loved ones. Keep calm and carry on.”

Nevertheless, the angst is widespread. “I feel guilty,” says Sue, a nurse at a clinic in the west Midlands where the staff have just decided to have a small Christmas tree on the reception desk, and nothing more.

“The official policy is that we have to be sensitive to other people’s feelings in this department,” says Sue, who agrees with that absolutely. She loves working alongside colleagues and serving patients of other faiths. However, as a Christian she also says: “I do have soul searching. In the effort to be sensitive to others I am undermining my own faith a little bit. How far do we have to go to please other faiths? Do we have to abandon what we believe?”

aaand there you go.  Yes you do.  To show how accommodating you are as a host nation, you are to drop anything that might not suit those that have come to live there.   Because, offending them is a worse crime than destroying your own culture.


– The Independent


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  • Rod

    Like many, I do feel a sense of outrage that outsiders may influence our customs. But then, I wonder how the pagans felt when the catholic church hijacked the mid winter festival of Saturnalia and called it Christmas. Comments are often made that those objecting to Christmas are anti-christian, but can anyone tell me where in the Bible the word Christmas is mentioned, or indeed that Jesus’ birthday (which was not in December anyway) should be celebrated?

    • blairmulholland

      You are not correct about Jesus’ birthday.

    • John Q Public

      Surely, according to the calendar we use, Chirst was born on January 1st?

  • Not the same here. If you are Maori you don’t have to be all PC and not offend newcomers, they have to defer to your stone-age customs. It’s kind of reversed for Maori in a way but the same for liberal white NZ’ers.

  • Cowgirl

    No problems in Canada – you can’t swing a cat here without hitting a Michael Buble Christmas song squarely between the eyes, and long may it continue. I think it’s because of the stroppy French element. I’m not really a fan of Christmas, but I may have to rethink my tolerance levels because I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand by and watch it go. The British are nuts.

  • SDCLFC1 .

    Would prefer a winter solstice to Christmas.
    Don’t give a toss about Christ and the 25th December.
    Do like getting together with family and friends and gift giving but would prefer my summers unmolested from the perversion that is Christmas.
    It would be much more invigorating and recharging in winter when we need a break and some festivities, for the reasons people originally celebrated in December, winter is still hard for many, and we can have a third of our summers given back to us instead of having them owned by stress and spending.

    • BlitzkriegNZ

      The trick is not to spend and stress, no one is forcing you to do it. Could be a good point about having a mid winter holiday of some sort though.

      • SDCLFC1 .

        Yes and no – we do minimise as much of that as we can but on some level it’s unavoidable.
        Think there would be an economic case too for NZ having a festive season in winter rather than in summer.
        The break afforded people leaving them revitalised is an obvious one but the other would be retailers having two spending peaks they can try and grow throughout the year rather than one.
        It’s a culture construct not a law of nature and as such we can write it how it best suits us.
        And the moment I try and defend something on the basis of tradition rather than contemporary value is when I concede I have no argument (not saying you were, just adding to my general view).

  • Hard1

    I invited you into my house and offered you everything that myself and my ancestors have struggled hard to achieve. Then you turned on us, made us change our ways to pacify your aching conscience. Now you want a forest with only one tree, a monoculture that supports no life but your own. Leave us, and rejoin your kin, where you will find again the culture that you are programmed to adhere to, but abandoned to join the enemy in the lust for riches. We cannot endure your feudal mores any longer.

  • conwaycaptain

    In the UK leaders of other religions, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists etc have all at some time said that the so called Christians are nuts giving away their religious history.

    • Fredd Dagg

      It is not the other religions that are the problem, it is the guilt wracked ‘liberals’ (usually academics) of Christian ancestry, who have to go overboard in order to show their zeal for righting the perceived wrongs of the past.

  • Catriona

    God help us here in NZ if we end up referring to Christmas as “Happy Holidays’.
    By then we will be completely under the influence of the PC brigade who don’t want to offend immigrants to this country who don’t believe in Christmas! What happened to the ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ philosophy? i.e. respect for the way in which your adopted country does things.

    • CheesyEarWax

      “Happy Holidays” is becoming the norm, ANZ atm machines have it on their screens at the moment.

      • Catriona

        Well, we should all stop this nonsense in its tracks. This insidious indoctrination is happening already then. That’s scary I think.
        What’s interesting is that I worked with a Jehovah Witness once. Now they don’t believe in birthdays of Christmas but our generous employer gives you a day off , fully paid, if your birthday just happens to fall on a working day, and then at Christmas you always receive a generous Christmas present. Guess what? The Jehovah completely swept her beliefs aside for those days and accepted gifts. I was always amused by that.

  • Jas

    If any Muslim immigrant says to you that Christmas must be banned just ask them if they would ban any Muslim festival in the country they came from to appease non muslims and if they say ‘NO’ then tell them to take a running jump.
    As an aside to this part of the war from Islam is just as much to keep there own people in line as it is to oppose other religions. They know that the modern world and things like the internet is telling their female followers especially that there is a different way and the male leaders are very scared of this and the lessening power/control/money it will bring.

    • burns_well_eh

      I don’t know the full details, but I highly doubt this initiative or those like it have come form a specific religion, group or person insisting that things be changed to suit them. It’s far more likely to have been a committee decision by a bunch of hand-wringing, angst-ridden, politically correct cardigan-wearing, bleeding heart liberal do-gooder panty-waists, always looking ahead to see how some offence might be taken or given and therefore avoided.

    • SDCLFC1 .

      I’m not Muslim but I believe Christmas should be changed to better suit our Southern Hemishphere social, cultural and economic needs in the 21st century. Specifically that it should be a winter solstice to enable a much needed mid-year, to relieve people of a massive stress at the start of their summer break when they are looking to relax and recharge and to provide a second retail spending peak in the calendar year.
      The only things blocking this from being possible are peoples beliefs in the tradition of a false narrative around the birth of Jesus Christ and story about Santa Claus flying around the world in a day.
      There is a reason why Europeans, and indeed Maori, had a winter solstice and similar reasons still apply today.
      What it is your rebuttal considering that you cannot use your cultural prejudice against Muslims.

  • Andy

    I find “winterfest” offensive to Southern Hemisphere dwellers. I also find “happy” is offensive to depressives. I find the word “holiday” offensive is it is derived from “Holy Day”

    I’d like to suggest the greeting “Have an emotionally neutral non-work specific day going forward” as a suitable replacement to Happy Christmas.

    • James

      As somebody who has previously worked on the 25th December, and whose parents often did the same when I was a kid, I find the “non-work” aspect of your greeting to be highly offensive.

      • Andy

        I apologise for the offense. When I said “non-work specific” I wasn’t implying a work-free day (indeed the sisterhood are often slaving over a murdered bird to satisfy the whims of the patriarchal and highly offensive “man of the house”.

        I was more implying that the day is not specifically oriented to the provision of work or lack thereof going forward

  • The whole western world has this stuff backwards, rather than changing what celebrations are traditional amongst us,we need to start aknowledging other holidays as well. Chinese New Year, Divali, Ramadan after sunset feasts etc etc

    • burns_well_eh

      I regret I have but one up-vote to give you.

  • Brian Badonde

    I would gladly ban Christmas, but on the condition that we also ban some of our other “traditions” that they enjoy in our Western countries that they don’t enjoy in their own countries.
    Providing free housing for Muslim Immigrants / refugees. Many of whom stay in them for decades at our expense.
    Giving them money to live in the form of benefits, in some cases for decades.
    Providing Doctors, Hospitals, schooling and all other social benefits that have taken us centuries to build up.
    It is our “Culture” to look after each other. It is our “culture” to have Christmas. If you want us to give up Christmas because it offends you, then please allow me to give up the other parts of my culture too.

  • timemagazine

    Until the left and the media will contiunue to play this stupid political correctness it will get worse. The left and the media in the west hate so much our way of living that they are ready to endanger all of us.

  • Single Track

    For all the PC sensitive sausages who are offended by the notion of christmas them don’t bother looking… For all the others, and that will be just about everyone then this will give you goose bumps and possibly a small tear of joy… For the kids it will leave them wide eyed and with images etched in their memories of the true joy of celebrating christmas