ADVANTAGES

It is a largely secular holiday, with the main element the exchange of gifts on Christmas day. In previous centuries the Church worried about Pagan influence on the Christian festival, but today ethical considerations are focused on the over-commercialism of the holiday, with the average person in the UK spending hundreds of pounds on Christmas-related purchases (an average of £384 in 2007, according to a Halifax report).Protests against consumerism have been made by Christians and non-Christians such as 'Buy Nothing Christmas', encouraging people to spend time with their families instead of spending money on them.With carol concerts, Christmas trees, office parties, midnight mass, and television programmes, today's festival has elements of the Pagan, Christian and folk traditions.Christmas remains a time to forget about the long dark days and celebrate with friends and family. The Making of A Modern Christmas, J.M.

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