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Chocolate company slammed as it axes word ‘Advent’ from Christmas calendars

2 min read

A chocolate company has axed the word "Advent" from its Christmas calendars so they appeal to customers from all faiths.

The £13 Countdown Calendar from Tony’s Chocolonely makes no reference to the religious season to keep it "accessible to all who celebrate the festive season".

But the move has been blasted by Christian groups and Andrea Williams, chief executive of evangelical organisation Christian Concern, slammed the decision.

She said: "To remove Advent from Christmas is to miss the meaning of Christmas. What is this a countdown to?

"It’s a pale reflection of the hope and joy that is Advent which anticipates the arrival of Jesus who is the reason for the season."

She went on: "It’s amazing that we are still celebrating his birthday and his message of reconciliation between us and God 2,000 years later. Let’s not scrap Advent."

The Fairtrade brand – known to fans as Tony’s – was founded in the Netherlands in 2005 by three Dutch TV journalists who discovered many chocolate manufacturers bought cocoa from plantations accused of modern slavery.

Launching a festive calendar for the first time, the company said: "Looking for a way to count down to Christmas that creates impact and gives you an excuse to chomp on our chocolate for 24 days straight? This is it."

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The firm’s UK marketing chief Nicola Matthews said: "Our mission is to end slavery in the cocoa industry so we do things differently.

"But our tone of voice is light-hearted so Countdown Calendar suits us as well as being accessible to all who celebrate the festive season."

It's not the only argument over Christmas this year, and earlier this month Scrooge MPs demanded an elderly couple tone back their display of festive lights.

One activist labelled the decorations as "overly bright" and said they should use a different type of light to help the environment.

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