Opening the door to advent calendars with a festive difference

The Church Sofa‏/Twitter

ROLL IN THE HAY: Greggs’ sausage roll nativity scene caused uproar in some religious circles.

IT must be Christmas – with the advent of all the usual political correctness!

First off, there’s Father Desmond O’Donnell, an Irish Catholic priest, urging Christians to abandon the word ‘Christmas’ because, for him, the words ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ have lost all sacred meaning. Then there’s the vicar who banned ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ from Christmas services. 

Speaking of ‘advent,’ what about all the advent calendars around now? For starters, the erotic calendars from Selfridges. Next Asda’s cheese-filled ones, while the Master of Malt website had a small bottle of rare whisky behind each window – provided you were happy with the £1,000 price tag. Then, Greggs the bakery chain was, er, roasted for replacing Jesus with a sausage roll in its nativity scene advert for its calendar.

Which reminds me of the latest Christmas cracker joke: “Why don’t Southern Rail train guards share advent calendars?” Because they want to open the doors themselves…

But please can we stop calling these things ‘Advent’ calendars? (There were just pictures behind doors in the ones of my childhood.) They have nothing to do with Advent – ‘Countdown’ calendars possibly, although ‘Rip-off’ (in every sense of the word) might be more accurate.

Christmas seems to be not only more and more politically correct, but more commercial each year. Starting way before Halloween, punctuated by ghastly, sentimental, elaborate advertisements and topped by Black Friday. 

Ah, with all this talk of political correctness, it’s already beginning to feel like Christmas. And a sure sign Santa’s sleigh’s already having its annual checkup at Kwik Fit. As for me, not exactly a hard ‘BrXmas’ here, but again no free movement of loads of relatives – I’m too busy writing my latest thriller! 

And another year comes to a close – eight years of this column every single week and over 400 articles later! Many thanks to all you readers out there for all the great comments here and to my website. Great to be appreciated and pleased the odd (yes!) joke cheers you up in these troubled times. HAPPY CHRISTMAS! 

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99;£0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.    

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.