Photo of the celebrations at the return and lighting up of the Warley Christmas Tree in December 2009.
As preparations go ahead to switch on High Street Christmas lights across Brentwood, Ongar, Ingatestone, North Weald and Shenfield this week I have taken the opportunity to unashamedly stand up for Christmas festivities across the country.
In recent years I have become aware some UK councils have toned down their Christmas themes for fear of causing offence to those of other religions. I believe we should take greater pride in Britain's Christian heritage. We should celebrate the Nativity and all the traditions that have sprung up around Christmas from turkey and tree lights to tinsel and tea towels adorning the heads of infant angels and shepherds.
I feel very strongly we should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ. I hope by saying this out loud I can enable councils across the country to forget the blandness of so called politically correct winter festivals like “Winterval”, “Winter Lights” and “Luminous” and allow multi-cultural Britain to enjoy Christmas as it should be enjoyed and celebrated.
I don’t deny money is tight at the moment, but I would also like to think Brentwood Borough Council, Epping Forest District Council and Essex County Council will remember how much revenue Christmas shoppers bring to the coffers of a town. We live in tough financial times, but there is no need for councils to play Scrooge. It is in the councils’ financial interest to draw people into their towns at Christmas and I would like them to make sure there are plenty of Christmas lights, Christmas trees, competitively priced car parking spaces, carol singers and nativity scenes for everyone to enjoy.