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Christian website runs Badvent calendar poll

31 October 2014

SHIP OF FOOLS

PEOPLE are being asked to vote for the best - or more accurately, worst - Advent calendar that bears little or no connection to the actual season.

The eight candidates include one from the lingerie supplier Ann Summers, featuring chocolate "bums, boobs and willies", and a photo of a hunky male wearing nothing but a strategically placed Christmas parcel.

And there is a £149.95 special containing 24 different "premium" whiskies.

The poll, which closes on Sunday, has been organised by the Christian website Ship of Fools (ship-of-fools.com). The site's co-editor, Simon Jenkins, said: "The historical fusion of a midwinter festival and the incarnation, to create Christmas, was always going to throw up conflicting messages.

"However, a recent spate of bizarre calendars has meant many have lost the original meaning of Advent, and prompted us to find the least inspiring on the market."

Other entrants include one with a Heavy Metal theme showing Santa Claus with his foot on a crushed skull, and offering the devil's-horns hand sign. Another has the Lego Star Wars baddie Darth Vader sporting a fur-trimmed, red Santa costume. "Plenty of people asked Jesus 'Who's your daddy?' but, as far as tradition has it, Darth Vader wasn't one of them," Steve Goddard, the website's co-editor, said.

Less contentious, but tackier, is a 24-piece nail-polish collection, and a Barbie version with a different fashion accessory behind every window.

Mr Goddard said that about ten million calendars are sold in the run-up to Christmas. "We're not calling on shops to get rid of these products," he said, "but to give shoppers alternatives that tell the Bethlehem story. We've also discovered that only two calendars are fairly traded, and just one, the Real Advent Calendar, has a charity focus.

"This is disappointing, given that the original message of Christmas is aspirational: peace on earth, goodwill to all people, the hopeful search of the Magi, the selfless giving of God's gift.

"Modern Advent calendars are another depressing sign of the way big business tramples on something beautiful in its desperation to make a profit."

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