Leigh Hatts, author of Keeping Advent & Christmas, is calling on churches and businesses to discover the riches of Advent and not celebrate Christmas too early.
“Putting up Christmas trees and decorations before Remembrance Sunday or Black Friday is devaluing Christmas,” says Leigh Hatts.
“First comes the Advent season of Old Testament prophesies and expectation with John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary.
“This is the time to keep Advent which begins this week.
“Christmas really starts on Christmas Eve and lasts for twelve days whilst we wait for the Three Kings to arrive on The Epiphany, Sunday 6 January.
“Our fellow Christians in Europe tend to keep this climax with parties and outdoor processions whilst we in the British Isles overwhelmingly ignore it.”
“The festival days following 25 December explain the enormity of what we recognise at Christmas and is our real time for celebration.”
Leigh Hatts, who welcomes the Church of England’s own 12 day Follow the Star initiative, is also suggesting that in future years churches consider “shifting Christmas from Advent to the real Christmas dates” and avoid having a any suspension of daily services once Christmas Day worship is over.
Those supporting the Slow Christmas campaign are being invited to Tweet using the #SlowChristmas hashtag.
“This can be the beginning of a slow change to a more authentic Christmas.”