Solstice renamed

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I grow weary of Christians like the Rt Rev John Chalmers claiming that our festive season without Christ will be a default materialist nightmare (your report, 22 December). We were celebrating the solstice for thousands of years before Christians renamed the event. The only extra “material” I enjoy in December is cut from the garden.

The birth of Jesus myth is a lovely story and a welcome contributor to the iconography of our modern Yule but Christianity no more owns the “real meaning of Christmas” than Thor owns the real meaning of Thursday.

Neil Barber

Saughtonhall Drive

Edinburgh