British aristocrat defends wishing a 'happy Christmas' after criticism of the holiday: 'Festive celebration'
Replacing 'Christmas' with a 'festive celebration' is no different than saying that 'we can't have turkey' because 'there's a vegetarian at the table,' one journalist said
British aristocrat Lord Michael Ashcroft defended the centuries-old tradition of wishing people a "happy Christmas" after bureaucrats told staff at one university to avoid using the word "Christmas."
"I shall continue to wish everyone a happy Christmas and will not change this to a happy festive season," Ashcroft declared on in a tweet that went viral on Twitter Tuesday.
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Ashcroft was responding to a report from freelance journalist Sophie Corcoran that the University of Brighton was advising staff "to avoid using the word ‘Christmas’ for fear of offending non-Christian students."
"I don’t understand this - we don’t ban the words Ramadan or Diwali," Corcoran pointed out, even though "many of us don’t celebrate those festivals."
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Ashcroft also shared a segment from British radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer on the Christmas fiasco. "Civil servants have been told to refer to Christmas parties as ‘festive celebrations’ in an attempt to avoid excluding different faiths," she explained.
"Is that right? Is that how you have to have a woke Christmas party now?" she asked.
"It’s a British tradition," Hartley-Brewer said. "We are raised in a Judeo-Christian culture, where we mark the religious festivals of Christian religion, because that's the origins of our history and our values and our culture."
She gave herself as an example of someone who celebrates Christmas without being a Christian. "I’m an atheist. I’m not remotely offended by something calling [it] a Christmas Party. Why are we having a party? Because it’s Christmas. That’s why we’re having the party."
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Hartley-Brewer also mocked the idea that Christmas should be called a "festive celebration" because there may be non-Christians present. "That’s like saying we can’t have turkey and pigs in blankets because there’s a vegetarian at the table."
She continued that even as an atheist, "I would not be offended if I was invited to some kind of religious festival."
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Ashcroft also tweeted out a "Christmas Box" card, sharing that he had "promised to donate" to the cause. The card shared a link for people to help bring the "Christmas mood" to children in Ukraine.