Signout Register Sign in. The web of Santa lies gets extra tangled in a mixed culture family. Previous Next Show Grid. Previous Next Hide Grid. Word has it that parents who encourage their children to believe in Santa should think twice about leading them on. Ian Rose is uneasy about spreading Christmas lies, but he's ready to let himself off the hook. I've been wrestling with my conscience for a week. And there was me thinking I was just being a helluva dad.
Oh what tangled webs we weave. Offensive 'white Christmas' display sparks calls for Golliwog boycott in Australia. Christmas Island has a long, often dark, Chinese history that spans more than years of phosphate mining. Trending Topics My relatives think I live in a sharehouse, but I live with my partner.
Grindr moves to combat discrimination with 'Kindr'. Being mistaken for my daughter's nanny. Hunt for driver captured on dashcam footage running over emus. NSW youngster arrested over 'strawberry needle prank'. As was the case with other Christian holidays, Christmas borrowed elements from pagan peoples, including yule logs and decorations such as candles, holly, and mistletoe. Christmas trees were seen as pagan in origin. During the various Protestant reformations, these paganizing elements were a source of controversy.
Some sects, such as the Puritans, rejected Christmas as an entirely pagan holiday. Others rejected certain aspects of Christmas as paganizing, but wanted to retain the "essence" of the holiday as a celebration of the Christ's birth. This tension put in motion an ongoing debate within some Protestant denominations about the proper observance of Christmas.
According to historian Ronald Hutton , the current state of observance of Christmas is largely the result of a mid- Victorian revival of the holiday, spearheaded by Charles Dickens. In A Christmas Carol , Hutton argues, Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, in contrast to the community-based and church-centered observations, the observance of which had dwindled during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Historian Stephen Nissenbaum contends that the modern celebration in the United States was developed in New York State from defunct and imagined Dutch and English traditions in order to refocus the holiday from one where groups of young men went from house to house demanding alcohol and food into one centered on the happiness of children. He notes that there was a deliberate effort to prevent children from becoming greedy in response. In the early 20th century, Christian writers such as C.
Lewis had already noted what he saw as a distinct split between the religious and secular observance of Christmas. In Xmas and Christmas: A Lost Chapter from Herodotus , Lewis gives a satire of the observance of two simultaneous holidays in "Niatirb" "Britain" spelled backwards from the supposed view of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus — BC. One of the holidays, "Exmas", is observed by a flurry of compulsory commercial activity and expensive indulgence in alcoholic beverages.
The other, "Crissmas", is observed in Niatirb's temples. Lewis's narrator asks a priest why they kept Crissmas on the same day as Exmas. He receives the reply:. For Exmas and the Rush distract the minds even of the few from sacred things. And we indeed are glad that men should make merry at Crissmas; but in Exmas there is no merriment left. The Soviet Union until , and certain other Communist regimes, banned overtly religious Christmas observances. In s USSR, the League of Militant Atheists encouraged school pupils to campaign against Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, and encouraged them to spit on crucifixes as protest against this holiday; the League established an antireligious holiday to be the 31st of each month as a replacement.
Most customs traditionally associated with Christmas, such as decorated trees, presents, and Ded Moroz Father Frost , were later reinstated in Soviet society, but tied to New Year's Day instead; this tradition remains as of the present day. Likewise, in Nazi Germany , "because Nazi ideologues saw organized religion as an enemy of the totalitarian state, propagandists sought to deemphasize—or eliminate altogether—the Christian aspects of the holiday" and as a result "propagandists tirelessly promoted numerous Nazified Christmas songs, which replaced Christian themes with the regime's racial ideologies.
The expression "the War on Christmas" has been used in the media to denote Christmas-related controversies. The claim of Brimelow, O'Reilly and others was that any specific mention of the term "Christmas" or its religious aspects was being increasingly censored , avoided, or discouraged by a number of advertisers, retailers, government prominently schools , and other public and secular organizations.
In the United States and Canada, where the use of the term "Holidays" is most prevalent, opponents have denounced its usage and avoidance of using the term "Christmas" as being politically correct. Jeff Schweitzer , a commentator for The Huffington Post , addressed the position of commentators such as O'Reilly, stating that "There is no war on Christmas; the idea is absurd at every level. Those who object to being forced to celebrate another's religion are drowning in Christmas in a sea of Christianity dominating all aspects of social life.
An 80 percent majority can claim victimhood only with an extraordinary flight from reality. Heather Long, an American columnist for The Guardian , addressed the "politically correct" question in America over use of the term "holidays", writing, "people who are clearly celebrating Christmas in their homes tend to be conflicted about what to say in the workplace or at school. No one wants to offend anyone or make assumptions about people's religious beliefs, especially at work. Christmas Day is recognized as an official federal holiday by the United States government.
Constitution—specifically the First Amendment , which prohibits the establishment by Congress of a national religion. In some cases, popular aspects of Christmas, such as Christmas trees , lights, and decorating are still prominently showcased, but are associated with unspecified "holidays" rather than with Christmas. In other cases, the Christmas tree,  as well as Nativity scenes, have not been permitted to be displayed in public settings altogether. Supreme Court rulings, starting with Lynch v.
Donnelly in , have permitted religious themes in government-funded Christmas displays that had "legitimate secular purposes". Since these rulings have been splintered and have left governments uncertain of their limits, many such displays have included secular elements such as reindeer, snowmen and elves along with the religious elements.
A controversy regarding these issues arose in , when the New York City public school system banned the display of Nativity scenes but allowed the display of less overtly religious symbols such as Christmas trees, Hanukkah menorahs, and the Muslim star and crescent. City of New York Since at least , religious conservative groups and media in the United States, such as the American Family Association AFA and Liberty Counsel , have called for boycotts of various prominent secular organizations, particularly retail giants, demanding that they use the term "Christmas" rather, than solely "holiday" in their print, TV, online, and in-store marketing and advertising.
This was also seen by some as containing a hidden anti-Jewish message. All of the major retailers named denied the charges. In , a controversy arose  when a public school in Ottawa, Ontario, planned to have the children in its primary choir sing a version of the song "Silver Bells" with the word "Christmas" replaced by "festive"; the concert also included the songs "Candles of Christmas" and "It's Christmas" with the original lyrics.
In , in Embrun, Ontario, near Ottawa, some parents were displeased when a school replaced the Christmas concert it had held in previous years with a craft sale and winter concert scheduled for February.
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In the United Kingdom there have been some controversies, one of the most famous being the temporary promotion of the phrase Winterval for a whole season of events including Christmas festivities by Birmingham City Council in the late s. This remains a controversial example of "Christmas controversy", with critics attacking the use of the word "Winterval" as being political correctness gone mad , accusing council officials of trying to take the Christ out of Christmas.
In November the city council of Dundee was accused of banning Christmas because it promoted its celebrations as the Winter Night Light festival, initially with no specific references to Christianity. Local church leaders were invited to participate in the event, and they did. Due to the changing religious landscape of the UK, Christmas cards featuring religious imagery, such as the Nativity scene or the Virgin and Child, have become less common in major retailers.
However, they are still readily available from smaller shops, or those linked to church groups and charities.
Make Christmas Meaningful Again
The Church of England complained in when religious images were removed from the annual tradition of special postage stamps around Christmas. The Christian holidays of Christmas Day and Good Friday remained in secular post-apartheid South Africa 's calendar of public holidays.
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities CRL Rights Commission , a chapter nine institution established in , held countrywide consultative public hearings in June and July to assess the need for a review of public holidays following the receipt of complaints from minority groups about unfair discrimination. The common practice of schoolchildren visiting local churches for Christmas services in December is opposed by the Norwegian Humanist Association , the Children's Ombudsman and by the Union of Education.
The Solberg's Cabinet says in its government declaration that it looks positively upon schools taking part in servicess in churches before religious holidays. A school law in , which explicitly stated that public schools should be non-confessional, led to debate over what this meant for the tradition that schools gather in churches in December to celebrate Advent, Lucia or Christmas.
In , Sveriges Radio reported that about one in six schools had changed the way they mark Christmas traditions as a result of the new law. Since the s,  there have been several instances in both the United States and Canada when official public mentions and references to Christmas trees were renamed to "holiday trees".
Reaction to such renamings has been mixed. One of the most prominent Christmas tree controversies came in , when the city of Boston labeled their official decorated tree as a holiday tree, and the subsequent response from the Nova Scotian tree farmer who donated the tree was that he would rather have put the tree in a wood chipper than have it named a "holiday" tree. In in West Jerusalem, the Lobby for Jewish Values, with support of the Jerusalem Rabbinate , handed out fliers condemning Christmas and called for a boycott of "restaurants and hotels that sell or put up Christmas trees and other 'foolish' Christian symbols".
The Brussels Christmas tree in the Belgian capital sparked controversy in December , as it was part of renaming the Christmas Market as "Winter Pleasures".
Christmas conspiracy: Should we feel guilty for perpetuating the Santa lie?
Efforts have also been made to rename official public holiday trees back to Christmas trees. In , a bill was introduced in the California Senate to rename the State Holiday Tree the California State Christmas Tree;  while this measure did not pass, at the official lighting of the tree on 4 December , California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to the tree as a Christmas tree in his remarks and in the press release his office issued after the ceremony. The name change was in honor of the late Senator William "Pete" Knight.
Schwarzenegger said at Knight's funeral that he would change the name back to Christmas tree. Knight had lobbied unsuccessfully to change the name after Governor Davis decided to call it a holiday tree. The Michigan Senate had a debate in over whether the decorated tree in front of the Michigan Capitol would continue to be called a holiday tree as it had been since the early s or named a Christmas tree.
The question was revisited in , when the bipartisan Michigan Capitol Committee voted unanimously to use the term Christmas tree. Some Christian churches, sects, and communities reject the observance of Christmas for theological reasons. Christian sects that do not celebrate Christmas include Jehovah's Witnesses  ; Armstrongites  ; some adherents of Messianic Judaism ; most Sabbatarian denominations, such as the True Jesus Church and the Church of God 7th-Day ; the Iglesia ni Cristo ; the Christian Congregation in Brazil ; the Christian Congregation in the United States ; certain reformed and fundamentalist churches of various persuasions, including some Independent Baptists  and Holiness Christians ; Oneness Pentecostals  ; and Churches of Christ congregations.
The celebration of Christmas has occasionally been criticized in countries which are predominantly Muslim. During the holiday season, a Muslim youth group launched an anti-Santa Claus campaign, protesting against the celebration of Christmas in the country. The claims were picked up later by Gerald L.
Smith , who in December claimed that Xmas was a "blasphemous omission of the name of Christ" and that "'X' is referred to as being symbolical of the unknown quantity. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the brief cessation of hostilities during World War I, see Christmas truce. For trees decorated around Christmas time, see Christmas tree. Christmas portal Christianity portal.
On the mainland, seventeenth-century Puritan New England had laws forbidding the observance of Christmas. The Christian groups who broke with the Catholic Church and the Church of England deemphasized Christmas in the early colonial period. Carols were altered by substituting names of prominent political leaders for royal characters in the lyrics, such as the Three Kings. Church bells were melted down for their bronze to increase the national treasury, and religious services were banned on Christmas Day.
The cake of kings, too, came under attack as a symbol of the royalty. It survived, however, for a while with a new name--the cake of equality. Archived from the original on 1 November Retrieved 31 October How did people celebrate the Christmas during the French Revolution?
Christmas controversies - Wikipedia
In white-knuckled terror behind closed doors. Churches across France were renamed "Temples of Reason" and the Notre Dame was "de-baptized" for the occasion.
The Commune spared no expense: Christmas at the Movies: A chapter on representations of Christmas in Soviet cinema could, in fact be the shortest in this collection: Retrieved 14 December For the first time in more than seven decades, Christmas—celebrated today by Russian Orthodox Christians—is a full state holiday across Russia's vast and snowy expanse.
Yeltsin's ambitious plan to revive the traditions of Old Russia, the republic's legislature declared last month that Christmas, long ignored under atheist Communist ideology, should be written back into the public calendar. Polosin, head of the Russian legislature's committee on religion. Retrieved 11 August Retrieved 5 December Archived from the original on 29 January Retrieved 28 July Archived from the original on 3 February Retrieved 9 March Retrieved 3 December Retrieved 27 December Archived from the original on 21 November Retrieved 28 December
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