Remember when celebrating Christmas meant unabashedly revelling in Australia’s happiest time of the year? There’d be tinsel on every corner, carols in every shop and spirit aplenty.
Now it feels like Christmas festivities must be kept to a minimum, just to avoid ruffling any feathers.
Indeed, when a shopping centre in New York recently unveiled its woeful “Santa’s sleigh” that more closely resembled a blank spaceship, American shoppers were up in arms.
“Santa comes along with a decorated tree; he doesn’t come with a spaceship,” said local shopper Maria Lovdahl.
“They (centre management) said it was because people were offended by the traditional Christmas display, and they had gotten comments in prior years,” Ms Lovdahl added.
Shoppers were being charged anywhere between $25 to 60 for portraits with Santa Claus, but now many people are boycotting the centre altogether.
“People who answered the phone (at the centre) actually said, in order not to offend anyone, they were simplying the Christmas display,” confirmed another shopper Caren Toal.
Now a similar situation is underway at home in Australia, thanks to Hobart’s “sad, modern” Christmas tree.
Hobart City Council’s pine tree in Salamanca Square is normally a local icon, decorated in tinsel, fairy lights and traditional Christmas decorations.
This year it’s a much more sterile affair, with the Council claiming to have invested tens of thousands into a “modern, state of the art” tree.
However, the public reception has hardly been positive, with many people claiming the LED tree is too apologetic.
“How much longer are Australians going to put up with this politically correct ratbaggery? Thirty four thousand dollars,” lamented Facebook user Robert Miers.
The cost involved is shocking, but what’s worse is the tree doesn’t seem to have much Christmas spirit.
Meet the Christmas Tree at Salamanca Place in Hobart. It cost $35,000 for council workers to construct. Impressed? pic.twitter.com/JIdPKfqvpq
— Winsor Dobbin (@winsordobbin) November 19, 2015
“Why couldn’t we have a nice traditional tree? Children will walk past this and not even know it’s a Christmas tree,” commented Angela Williams.
“Even a Kmart plastic tree would be better than that travesty,” added Julie Bunting.
Adding to the PC debate, last week the Victorian education department ruled that whilst Christmas carols can continue to be sung in classrooms, religious hymns cannot.
The ruling has been described as “ambiguous and confusing,” by chaplaincy organisation, Access Ministries.
Their spokesperson Rob Ward asked, “when we sing a Christmas carol, often that is based on a biblical story. Do you need permission to sing a Christmas carol?”
Either way, it seems that Christmas celebrations are becoming increasingly perplexed, both in Australia and abroad.
What do you think – has political correctness surrounding Christmas gone too far?