The organisers of a worldwide Christian festival are to choose an alternative date for the event.
‘We accept that in hindsight choosing 25th December was a mistake’ said chief spokesman for Christianity, God. ‘Originally we thought that it would be a great time to have the festival. Practically everyone’s off work for Christmas and the schools are closed. We thought it would give everyone plenty of time to go to church to celebrate the birth of Christ the Lord your Saviour, but in reality people are far too busy eating too much, getting pissed, trying to cop off at office parties and watching the My Family Christmas special to go to church. We really need a quieter time of year for our celebrations.’
God went on to admit that the problem stemmed from the fact that no-one knows exactly when Jesus was born. ‘It’s very remiss of us of course’ he admitted, ‘but everyone was too busy trying to work out what the hell you do with myrrh and wondering why that big star was hovering overhead to write the date down. We’re not even sure exactly how old Jesus is. It’s terrible really.’
25th December was chosen as the date for the festival despite the fact that that was already the date of Christmas and pagan Yule festival. ‘We knew we could oust the pagans' explained God. 'All they had was a bit of holly, mistletoe and those chocolate Yule logs, so there wasn’t much to overcome. We introduced a few carols and people were won over. What we hadn’t counted on was Christmas being so enduringly popular. Songs like Merry Xmas Everybody and I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday are so engrained in tradition we stood no chance against them. We did try to trick people with Cliff Richard songs for a few years, but most normal people weren’t fooled. Ultimately we just couldn’t compete.’
Leading supporter of Christmas Father Christmas, a long time critic of the Christians' efforts to weaken the mass commercialisation message of Christmas, welcomed the news. ‘It’s about time they moved their festival' he complained. 'Some children don't even realise that Christmas isn't all about going to church and giving thanks to God. The present-receiving message is being watered down all the time. Plus it’s a busy enough time of year already. People have got to open presents and cook turkey on Christmas Day – they haven’t got time to go to church. And the number of times I’ve almost been spotted by children who’ve been forced to stay up late to go to midnight mass – I’ll be glad not to have to worry about that any more.’
Christians have already started the search for an alternative date for their celebrations. ‘It’s not easy though’ grumbled God. ‘We were thinking about some time in the Spring, but we’d have to avoid a clash with Easter. We wouldn’t want to interrupt people’s chocolate eating activities.’