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UK News

Christians encouraged to wage war on Christmas

The true meaning of Christmas is being left further and further behind, he said: "Last week, I walked into a Costa Coffee, heard the sound of 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,' and walked straight out again. This is what we all need to do. I, Tim Stanley - a right-wing Christian and member of the National Trust - am calling for a war on Christmas."

Stanley told Premier: "I get that if you really, really love Christmas, of course you're going to want more of it more of the time. The problem is that I think it is psychologically a little unhealthy to spend six weeks preparing for what many people spend one or two days on.

"It doesn't really reflect what Christians are supposed to believe, which is that first you have the Advent season, which is about leading up to Christmas. Then from the 25th onwards, depending of course on which particular Christian church you are a member of, you then have the Christmas period, which in fact, lasts much longer, and there is a season of family and prayer and things like that. So, I find this tension between what the shops sell us as being Christmas and what Christmas actually theologically means, I find that tension really, really difficult to struggle with."

Tim Stanley / Twitter

Stanley says Christians should reclaim Christmas, he told Premier: "Rather than endorsing this season, I think it'd be better to withdraw from it and reclaim it. I would rather the Christians did their own thing and explained what they were doing to people rather than went on validating something which is really a distortion of the festival.

"I think you can make personal decisions in your everyday life which I'm trying to make, if I do hear Christmas music in a shop and I don't have to be in it, I'm walking out of it. You do not have to join the mad sales frenzy, people are already shopping for Christmas and I find that a bit insane.

"I think Christians have got to be far more vocal about the things that make them different, they've got to stop acting as though everyone agrees with us, assume they don't and explain what it is we really believe."

Stanley thinks a good way to reset the Christmas clock and make it more Christian focused would be to follow a religious calendar not a consumerist one: "The great thing about a religious calendar is it is far more sensible and sane than a sales based or secular calendar, which is all about excess, where as the religious calendar draws things out.

"I think trying to re-establish the nature of the 12 Days of Christmas is very useful. The idea that it is not the build up to Christmas; it is what comes after the celebration of the birth, not just the build up to the birth and the celebration of it. I think if everyone just goes to church on Christmas Eve, if everyone tries to keep those 12 days, that can be a great way to reset our clock."

Listen to Premier's Cara Bentley speaking with Stanley here:

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