This, from today's Independent:
The grinch that lies about Christmas
The Daily Mail "clarifications & corrections" column is shaping up to be the best part of the newspaper. Yesterday's began with the words "we stated in an article on 26 September that Christmas has been renamed Winterval" – before admitting that the story was junk.
They could have added that it was not the first time they had run this story. It appeared in the Mail on 4 January this year, three times in 2010, once in 2009, twice in 2008, four times in 2007, 11 times in 2006 and eight times in 2005. While 2004 was a sort of Winterval gap year, the story appeared twice in 2003, once in 2002, once in 2001, and four times in 2000, after its debut on 9 November 1998. That is exactly 40 times in all.
Interviewed in the Mail in 2006, David Cameron answered those non-existent people who would scrap Christmas. "It's ridiculous pretending we have to call it Winterval," he declared.
All this because 13 years ago, Birmingham Council organised a run of events, taking in Christmas and New Year, called Winterval.
Nice. But why has it all taken so long?