Christmas, bah humbug! Was Scrooge right?


The hijacking of Christmas by the forces of commercialism could be changing Christmas into humbug – “a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle.”

A priest in Ireland has come up with a radical solution – “Stop using the word Christmas because it has been hijacked by ‘Santa and reindeer’.

“We’ve lost Christmas, just like we lost Easter, and should abandon the word completely,” Father Desmond O’Donnell told the Belfast Telegraph.

A registered psychologist and author as well as an Oblate priest, O’Donnell said the meaning of Christmas had eroded over time and become commercialised.

Christmas has become a time of stress rather than joy for many New Zealand families who are under pressure and who spend beyond their means to satisfy the expectations of their families and friends.

The Salvation Army expects to help more than 17,000 struggling Kiwis this Christmas, as demand for food parcels and help to cover holiday costs soars.

Another organisation that helps those in need says the average amount which struggling families have left for food after paying rent and bills has halved in the past year, from $83.33 to just $40.00.

From July to September this year, more than 10,000 food parcels have been handed out – an 8 per cent increase on the previous quarter and a 13 per cent jump on the same time last year, Army major Pam Waugh said

“A lot of families come under pressure at Christmastime,” Waugh said.

O’Donnell insists he was not a Scrooge and did not wish to deny non-believers their festive celebrations.

“I am not seeking to take anything away from anyone, I am simply asking that space be preserved for believers for whom Christmas has nothing to do with Santa and Reindeer.”

His comments come after a pressure group called for a boycott of Greggs bakery in the UK after the company replaced baby Jesus with a sausage roll in a nativity scene.