You always get it at this time of year.
“Christmas is banned, you know. They call it Winterval now. Political correctness gone mad! Well, I will wish you a merry Christmas, and I don’t care who doesn’t like it. Take THAT, society! “
The story goes that a council was so scared of offending any group that they decided not to celebrate Christmas any more. They would instead celebrate a made up festival called “Winterval” and ban all mention of any kind of connection to Christianity or British traditions.
The predictable quarters, led of course by The Daily Mail, were outraged. They were so outraged that they were still quoting this as fact as recently as September of this year in the Mail, and government minister Eric Pickles attempted to stir things up last year.
It is, and always has been, an urban myth.
Birmingham council did have a promotional concept that they called “Winterval” in 1997 and 1998. This was simply a catch all term to cover the various events over the winter period – the switching on of the lights, new years eve, Diwali, Halloween and so on. Winterval did not replace Christmas in any way – it was just a marketing concept to make promotion of all these separate events easier. Christmas was still called Christmas, there were still Christmas trees, carol services and Christmas cards. Nobody was banning anything.
In fact, Winterval was printed in much smaller type on the promotional literature than the word “Christmas”, and the entire focus of the marketing was on Christmas, its symbols and events.
And, you know what, including other events, even being more inclusive in general – is that a bad thing? I would have thought it was good actually. Really good. I’m all for recognising people of other faiths and none – it makes life more interesting, and there are more parties to go to.
But pretending that Christmas is somehow under threat lets people of a…less tolerant persuasion (OK, closet racists) claim that “we” (as in, white British born people) need to somehow defend “our” traditions against this apparently huge influx of political correctness and inclusion.
So the more we point out that the whole Winterval thing is a myth, the more they splutter and point at shops daring to sell Eid cards, or bans on outright discrimination in employment, as evidence that we are living in a police state where we are somehow not allowed to say anything in case we offend any minority group.
OK, so… racist twats are a minority group, thankfully. I can offend them – watch.
FUCK OFF RACIST TWATS.
There. Happy now?