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Jane Costello; Christmas is still more than a singing turkey.

THE enthusiasm with which my children woke on December 1 to open their advent calendar obviously filled me with a rosy maternal glow. However, I can't pretend I wouldn't have preferred it if the event had happened slightly later than 5.45am.

As the five year old excitedly scoffed the chocolate in his Toy Story 3 calendar and the two year old reacted in his usual understated manner at the news that he couldn't eat all 25 Thomas The Tank Engine chocolates before breakfast (by throwing a tantrum), a news item came on the radio.

It quoted the former-Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, who claimed this week that Britain has become "ashamed" of Christmas.

His argument was that Christmas cards are censored, school nativity plays stripped of Christian content and Christmas decorations banned in the campaign to block the festival out of the calendar.

"The attempt to air-brush the Christian faith out of the picture is especially obvious as Christmas approaches," he said. "The cards that used to carry Christmas wishes now bear seasons greetings, the local council switches on 'winter lights' in place of Christmas decorations. Christmas has become something of which we are ashamed."

There's little doubt that the now decades-old argument about Christmas becoming so materialistic these days isn't just true - it's so obvious on any trip to Liverpool One it virtually slaps you in the face.

And there are a million examples of Christmas paraphernalia that has absolutely nothing to do with the true meaning of the day - the Toy Story 3 and Thomas the Tank Engine calendars really only scratching the surface.

THE winner latest Next Top been named Ward, a 6 19 year old waist is so man can fit his hands it.

Frankly, if the former Archbishop of Canterbury had ever set eyes on the singing rubber turkey my mother thought would be an excellent addition to the dcor one year, he might consider throwing in the towel. And the industry why accused of eating However, does the existence of such frivolities necessarily mean that we're bringing up a generation incapable of understanding what Christmas is really all about? I don't think so.

My five year old knows exactly what Christmas is about; he knows the nativity story inside out - though did get a bit mixed up about what Frankenstein was doing with the Wise Men - and even put me to shame the other day by asking me who Moses' mum was. (My response: Er. . . .I'll look it up).

of the Model has as Ann foot 2 inch whose tiny a apparently around His interest in this is not because he's some sort of religious prodigy; it's simply because this is the stuff they teach him at school.

modelling wonders is ever promoting disorders... .

He's not alone. The school he attends is not a church school, but pupils are still taught the basics of Christian teaching and sing hymns in assembly. Furthermore, from what I can see, this is performed not reluctantly by teachers, nor undertaken begrudgingly by pupils, but totally embraced.

The idea that a bit of fun in the shape of hanging penguins rather than wise men on your tree means people are ashamed just doesn't ring true.

Although if it means I can persuade my mother to ditch the rubber turkey one year, perhaps it's an argument I should consider giving more weight to.

* JANE COSTELLO is the Liverpool-based author of best-selling novels including Bridesmaids and The Nearly Weds. Her latest book, My Single Friend, is published by Pocket

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Are we really in danger of forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 3, 2010
Words:603
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