S''With the approach of December, the time has arrived for the annual tirade against what is called the "Commercial Christmas." No one seems to make any effort to defend this apparently modern institution, and those who try to make a big profit during this hectic season of buying seem happy enough to allow these criticisms to go unchallenged. May I use your columns to rally to the side of this unchampioned cause in order to forestall the first attack of the 1957 offensive? These attacks on the Commercial Christmas in no way help and most likely damage the campaign to put Christ back into Christmas. This negative attitude seeks one thing namely to pull down a structure which is not evil in itself and would presumably leave a void When this crusade of reaction is encouraged by people who have won reputations as leaders of religious life the impression gained by outsiders must be an unfortunate one. Do these sentimental moralists find something distasteful in seeing crowds of well-fed, well-clothed families thronging department stores stocked with well-advertised goods ? Do they find it frustrating to see the obvious opportunities for practising charity becoming fewer and fewer ? How romantic were those stories of hare-footed orphans starving outside the doors of rich houses only to he discovered by the rich man's children and persuaded to come in and share their mince pies and toys. Happily those days of poverty are fast disappearing in this country. But do we owe this improvement to sordid commerce or to the well-meaning effusions of these pious critics ? They should turn to the United States, an outstanding example of a country where a high standard of living dependent on commerce is enjoyed by a largely church-going community. Let us have some more peace and goodwill towards men, even those who are going to make some money this Christmas.
Cyril Myerscough. Mitcham Lane, S.W.16.