Despite having one of the coolest names for an army ever, life under Oliver Cromwell was not a barrel of laughs. Not only did he close down inns, theaters and ban the majority of sports, but the Puritan nut job also banned Christmas because it was more about the eating, drinking, dancing and having fun rather than the birth of Jesus. He did inspire Elvis Costello to sing a cracking song about him though.
Cromwell said that he talked to God directly and discussed his plans for battles with the big man personally although we now find it hard to think that any country today could be ruled over by a warmongering leader who talked to God directly about his plans to send his troops into battle. Ahem.
Although Cromwell was a sandwich short of a picnic he did have a point about Christmas because despite its origins, it's all about Santa, snowmen and reindeer now. Try finding anything related to Christmas now with a picture of Jesus on it and you will be disappointed.
The problem is that Jesus is just not cool. When you have magicians nowadays who can make the Statue of Liberty disappear or catch a bullet in their teeth, then turning water into wine just seems a bit, well, crap.
What Jesus needs is a professional PR job done on him because the other fictional character, Santa, is what Christmas is all about and the Churchy types know it. As an atheist, i'm more than happy to see Jesus and all his disciples pushed aside and a jolly fat man hauled wheezing into his place but in an unexplainable twist, i dislike the way it has turned into a grubby, money spinning commercial exercise where it isn't the thought that counts but how much you spent.
Cromwell began putting together the New Model Army by firstly rounding up all his relatives to form the core of his own regiment to take on the King's army so Auntie Freda, Uncle George, cancel your bingo night next week because we got a revolution to perform. Better not mention it to Auntie Lesley though, you know what she's like around men in uniform. We'd never get her out of the barracks.