Hard on the heels of the Netmums survey about nativities, which showed that schools are increasingly abandoning trad nativity plays at Christmas, comes feedback from a survey carried out at Brent Cross shopping centre. Here are some interesting, very modern views, from the children who took part:
52% think Christmas Day is the birthday of Father Christmas

35% think Jesus was born at the South Pole

30% think the Jewish festival of Chanukah is a Japanese cartoon

25% think that the wise men used Google Maps to find the stable

10% think that Jesus Christ is a Chelsea FC footballer

10% think that Rudolph was present at the birth

Prospect magazine has also been involved in a seasonal survey, commissioning YouGov to find out about Christmas observance for three groups of people – Christians who go to church, Christians who don’t go to church, and those who profess no religion. They found that Christians who go to church send more Christmas cards, are more likely to have a Christmas tree in their home, expect to share their Christmas dinner with more people and give more to charity.

So if the statistics are accurate, the meaning of Christmas is very confusing to children, while church-attending Christians throw themselves into the celebration and sharing of Christmas more than most!

Christians in Education will be back with regular updates in the new year. Until then, have a peaceful Christmas as you celebrate the  birth of Jesus with family and friends.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6



No, not REM. School nativity plays. A new poll suggests that under pressure to modernise, nativity plays are losing their religion as schools take artistic licence with the traditional story of Jesus’ birth. About 2000 parents have expressed concern that Christmas traditions are being pushed aside as drunken spacemen, aliens, recycling bins, punk fairies, Elvis Presley, footballers and even a lobster have all started to appear in the nativity story. In some cases, the nativity has given way completely to winter celebrations, with traditional carols replaced by themed songs.

Political correctness? Collective guilt about materialist cravings? The wish to avoid specific reference to a Christian festival or our Christian heritage? Whatever the reason, two thirds of parents who responded to a Netmums online survey said that they would like their child’s school to have a trad nativity,  while 13% of parents plan to share the Christmas story at home.

‘This study shows many parents who aren’t religious look to the nativity as a comforting part of the Christmas celebrations and want their school to embrace and celebrate it,’ said Netmums’ Siobhan Freegard.

If you plan to share the nativity story with your child this Christmas, you might like to download The Nativity, a free app that tells the Bible story simply but beautifully. And there isn’t a punk fairy in sight.