Warchus was about to chalk up the evening to a near miss when Minchin came on for his encore, an atheist Christmas carol called “White Wine in the Sun.” It begins with Minchin asserting his secular bona fides:
I am hardly religiousI’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond TutuTo be honest.And yes, I have all of the usual objections to consumerism,To the commercialization of an ancient religion,To the Westernization of a dead PalestinianPress-ganged into selling PlayStations and beer.But, by the end, he’s imagining his infant daughter, decades in the future, coming home for the holidays.
Of course, who can forget all the ads used to promote Christmas commercialization — they are worse than the commercialization itself. Holiday displays are being put up earlier and earlier every year. Christmas commerce has already overtaken Thanksgiving and it won’t be long before is subsumed by the Buying Season as well. Soon the songs wishing that it could be Christmas all year long will appear to have been prophetic, and so I chant “Humbug, Humbug” to overbearing advertising.
It seem to be growing in popularity as a simple, secular, seasonal day of celebration as an alternative to Christmas and Hanukkah with a minimum of commercialization.