SOAP BOX: Anti-Christmas rumours an excuse for mistrust

AS A journalist I can't tell you how many articles I've written or read over the past two months that were Christmas-related.

Sadly, my memory is painfully vivid because it's endlessly frustrating trying to fit the word 'Christmas' into a headline.

Since November my brain has kindly selected a different Christmas carol to be played on loop in my head every day.

My charming neighbours insist on blasting their strobe-light Christmas lights, placed conveniently right outside my window, well into January.

And here's a little behind-the-scenes secret: for the two weeks before Christmas, every staff member at the Daily wore a Santa hat to work.Yes, there was coercion required on some of the more Grinchy types, but we did it.

I've heard this rumour circulating that over the Christmas period various schools and businesses in Australia were forced to minimise their Christmas spirit for fear of offending others.

In my experience it's simply not true. The idea that Christmas is slowly dying out is ludicrous and scaremongering.

The people who repeat these rumours aren't merely concerned, kindly citizens.

They have an agenda to spread the absurd prospect that newcomers to this country will erode our way of life.

It's an excuse for us to start distrusting migrants, especially those who may not celebrate Christmas themselves.

It has made me hopeful to see letter writers to the Daily point out our country has been built on the success of migrants. Rather than threaten our way of life, the traditions, stories and optimism they bring to our country enriches it.