A school in North Yorkshire has taken the dramatic and perhaps controversial step of banning Christmas on the basis that it has become 'too commercial'.
The exchanging of presents, cards and any form of Christmas fun is now banned until the pupils at Lady Lumley's School in Pickering can convince their teachers to bring back the festivities.
Now, this isn't a school doing their best Ebenezer Scrooge impression and sapping the joy out the season, but it is an attempt to highlight the true meaning of Christmas.
To really emphasise the point, Father Christmas made an appearance at an assembly held at the school earlier this week to tell the pupils to consider what they felt Christmas was really about, amid it being 'lost and buried under an avalanche of commercialisation'.
For the meantime, the kids will have to put aside dreams of opening an N64 or Tamagotchi on Christmas morning (that's what kids still want, right?) and contemplate a convincing argument for Christmas, which they can email to their RE teacher.
They have been informed to send their arguments by 30 November, with headteacher Richard Bramley adding that while Christmas is fun for some, it can be a time of worry and stress for others. In a blog post on the school's website he wrote:
Christmas is a day celebrating the birth of Jesus and should be a time of good will to all, yet it can be a very stressful, expensive, argumentative and lonely time.
In her message to students in the assemblies [RE teacher] Mrs Paul asked them to consider the true meaning of Christmas and to write to her by November 30 at [email protected] with their reasons why we should still celebrate this time of year and try to persuade her to change her mind.
With practising-Christian numbers declining and the world becoming a more multi-faith based society, Christmas has arguably been hijacked by consumerism and brands eager to sell more products, so this move from the school would appear to be a thoughtful, if not unconventional, approach to Christmas in 2018.
On paper, this would seem like a logical approach to a modern-day Christmas and teaching kids about the dangers of consumerism, but some feel the move to completely eradicate Christmas from children's school lives all together is a step too far.
Others thought it was a great idea and a fresh approach to educating youngsters about awareness at this time of year.
HT Lad Bible