It is with a false patina of regret that many County Councils in the Northwest of the UK have decided, in their extremely finite wisdom, to forbid all commercial Christmas festivities this year, and for the foreseeable future.
Not to save offending the sensibilities of the large, nay, huge ethnic community in this grey and dour corner of England is this decision made. Indeed, many Asian shopkeepers rely on the increased trade at this time of year to fill their coffers enough to pay the swingeing business rates that local government and Gordies lot impose upon them.
Neither is it to save on the expense of decking the post industrial halls with boughs of holly and the few strings of bulbs that the tight council purses will stretch to.
No, TheSpoof.com can reveal that Christmas in the Northwest of England has been cancelled to accede to the wishes of the newly arrived Amish community of seven.
Jacob Ammoman, his wife and their five children, Jacob jnr, Jakob, Jackob, Beatrice and Beatrix, moved from their home in Indiana, America in late summer to the small town of Ramsbottom, Lancashire, where they immediately began pressing the rules of their church, or Ordung, on the local community.
The people of Ramsbottom, being an accommodating lot, humoured the Ammoman family, even to the point of removing all overhead power lines, and reducing local schools to one room buildings by knocking out all internal walls.
This did not appease the tiny Amish community, who demanded that all Christmas festivities should be simple, with no outward signs of wealth or monetary gain or transaction, and that the usual garish gloss should be restricted to a few sprigs of holly, and the occasional candle.
Loathe to offend minority groups for fear of being branded racist bullies, many county councils across the region immediately put a ban on shops and households exhibiting any bright or, as the Amish regard it, disrespectful, coloured decorations, or any lighting other than regular 60 watt bulbs and plain white church candles. (the exact number per window to be finalised after talks with Amish representatives)
Local communities have acceded to these requests, but an underlying disquiet indicates that this may not be an end to the matter.