Real meaning of Christmas lost on today”s children as nearly quarter believe 25th December is Simon Cowell”s birthday
He may be the doyen of the entertainment industry, with an ego as big as his multi-million pound bank account, but Simon Cowell is a long way from being crowned Messiah, even if he”d have us believe otherwise.
However, it would seem young children, taken in by celebrity culture, are confused about the real reason for Christmas celebrations, with a recent poll finding nearly a quarter believing the 25 December is the X Factor supremo”s date of birth.
The survey of 1,000 school children aged between five and seven years old reveals that 36 per cent don’t know whose birthday we celebrate on December 25 – with over one in five believing the festivities are in aid of Simon Cowell”s birthday.
Festive farce: An illustration depicts the nativity scene showing the bizarre misconceptions of today”s children, including the three wise men as Gary Barlow, Mark Wright and Prince Charles
In addition, the research by online retailer Woolworths.co.uk found 24 per cent of children believe that Brentwood in Essex, home to TOWIE stars favourite nightclub the Sugar Hut, was the location of Jesus” birth.
Another quarter think Jesus was born at 10 Downing Street or Buckingham Palace, with only 28 per cent of those polled able to name Bethlehem as the correct birth place.
Despite being a key ingredient in the nativity play children are also getting mixed up when it comes to the three wise men with over a third of children thinking that X Factor head judge Gary Barlow, TOWIE star Mark Wright and even Prince Charles were the generous men who brought gifts to the stable.
And instead of following a star to find the stable, over 30 per cent of children thought that the three wise men heard about the birth of baby Jesus being born via Facebook.
The confusion over festive traditions are not just confined to the nativity story with over a quarter of those polled thinking Lapland was the name of a London nightclub and 35 per cent could not even name Rudolph as one of Santa’s reindeer, despite his famous red nose.
Instead the average British child thinks the reindeer are named after celebrities, including Tulisa Contostavlos, David Beckham and Pippa Middleton.
Commenting on the findings, a Woolworths spokesperson said, “Christmas is such a special and magical time of year for children, so it’s surprising that there is so much confusion going around.
“Obviously Christmas means different things for different families but it’s a big shock that 35 per cent don”t even know who Rudolph is.
“We’re not saying that celebrity culture has ruined the traditions of Christmas but from these results it certainly seems to have had an effect on how children think about the big day!”