It was on this day in 1946 that George Bernard Shaw wrote to the Reynolds News: “Christmas is for me simply a nuisance. The mob supports it as a carnival of mendacity, gluttony, and drunkenness. Fifty years ago, I invented a society for the abolition of Christmas. So far I am the only member. That is all I have to say on the subject.”
An editor rebutted: “Mr. Shaw’s campaign has met with serious obstacles. The public read his books and went to his plays, but they read Dickens, too. They couldn’t be made to stop singing carols, lighting up Christmas trees, making presents, and feeling more than usually amiable toward their relatives, friends, and the world in general. Many of them paid attention to Mr. Shaw’s ideas about other things, including vegetarianism and Fabian socialism, but they would not pay attention to his ideas about Christmas. His failure is as apparent to him as it is to the rest of us.”
Perhaps the editor’s sentiments had been inspired by a new film that had premiered just a few days before: Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.
Thanks to The Writer’s Almanac for the above.