ADVENT OF A CHRIST-LESS CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN; Spice Girls Replacing the Three Wise Men in Festive Calendars

By Caven, Bill | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), October 29, 1999 | Go to article overview

ADVENT OF A CHRIST-LESS CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN; Spice Girls Replacing the Three Wise Men in Festive Calendars


Caven, Bill, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


IT'S as much a part of Christmas as decorating the tree itself.

The daily ritual of opening up the relevant window on the Advent calendar is the way most children have been brought up.

First it was the shepherds, closely followed by the Three Wise Men, and finally the star of Bethlehem that told you Christmas Day had arrived.

But today's youngsters are more likely to find Posh Spice, the Teletubbies or Star Wars characters heralding the birth of Jesus.

And many of them are called Christmas or Millennium coutdown calendars with no sign of the word "Advent".

And the changes haven't stopped there either.

The old-style calendars have been shelved in favour of ones offering sweets and chocolate.

And it's all left a nasty taste in the mouths of the churches.

The makers have been accused of trivialising Christmas with the launch of the Christ-less calendars.

Children opening up their calendars this year are more likely to find a picture of Spice Girls, Ewan McGregor, The Simpsons and even the doll Barbie.

The chocolate companies insist there is no demand now for religious calendars in many of the high street shops.

But church spokesmen yesterday attacked the move to ditch scenes depicting the birth of Jesus.

Monsignor Tom Connelly, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said he was shocked by this year's batch of calendars.

He said: "Advent is about preparing for the birth of Jesus Christ.

"Anything other than that is just exploitation and commercialisation."

His comments were supported by the Reverend Douglas Galbraith of the Church of Scotland. …

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