A survey into our attitudes towards Christmas reveal it's very much a modern celebration that has binned its religious roots, with just 22 per cent of the UK population using the period to think about things to do with stables, wise men and codes to live by. It is, though, all about gathering to pat babies on the head.
The YouGov poll was conducted on behalf of the British Humanist Association, which found that 91 per cent of people in the UK celebrate Christmas in some form or other -- be it with family and friends or crying alone while surrounded by 18 empty mince pie foil trays -- but less than a quarter of us associate it in any way with all that Jesus stuff they make the children pretend to believe in for their nativity plays.
The people were asked to list the most important things about Christmas, and just 15 per cent said that celebrating the birth of Jesus was a key thing to spend their holiday time doing. Probably because he's dead so it's hard to organise giving him presents and buying him drinks etc.
There is some hope for humanity, though, as like at the end of A Christmas Carol some good things are revealed; 76 per cent said that "spending time with family" was the most important thing about Christmas. As long as they've handed out the Wi-Fi code.
BHA's chief exec Andrew Copson said: "Humans across Europe have gathered together at the darkest and coldest time of the year to feast and appreciate each other’s company in the warm since long before Christianity. Sometimes the charge is levelled at humanists that to celebrate Christmas is hypocritical, but this research puts that myth to bed. For an overwhelming majority of people in Britain, this time of year has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with celebrating the life we have with the people we love."