Too soon for Christmas?


A chara, – Melanie McDonagh asks if we can delay the celebration of Christmas until at least the end of Advent (Rite & Reason, November 28th).

Maybe we need to separate the Spendism celebrations that start on Black Friday and end on New Year’s Day from the Christian end-of-year celebrations that start on the first Sunday in advent and end on the Epiphany, January 6th. They are two different celebrations that overlap, like growing old and birthdays.

Christmas can be celebrated by sending Christmas cards while Spendism can be celebrated by using credit cards. – Is mise,




Co Dublin.

Sir, – I was interested to read Melanie McDonagh’s opinion piece in which she suggested that the Christmas season is too long.

I must say that I am not in agreement with this view.

Having regard to the generally cold, dark and damp weather conditions that obtain in Ireland at this time of year, there might even be a case for extending the present Christmas season, with events such as the display of the Christmas tree on O’Connell Street, Dublin, occurring a week or two earlier than normal.

There is certainly no case for shortening the season.

While we should fully respect people of religious faith, culturally Christmas is or should be for everyone. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.

Sir, – Would it be possible to save “the real meaning of Christmas” think pieces until December? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.