At this time of year, atheists are well accustomed to being accused of waging a "War on Christmas", draining the fun from the festive season in the name of political correctness and godless spite.
And now, if it's even possible to acquire an ally in a war you're not actually waging, we have just acquired the most unlikely ally of all – the Pope.
With what might just be my favourite tabloid headline of the year, the Daily Mail has turned on the head of the Catholic Church, declaring that "Killjoy Pope crushes Christmas crib traditions".
Apparently, Benedict XVI has written a new book Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, in which he points out that the tradition of displaying oxen and donkeys in nativity scenes has no grounding in scripture. He also says that there is no basis for believing that angels sang to the shepherds to announce the birth of Christ, thereby undermining the traditional reason for the singing of carols.
However, while he may be prepared to question the traditions of oxen and carols, the Mail is able to report that "there is one part of the Nativity story he is firm on - that Mary was a virgin and Christ was conceived with the Holy Spirit alone."
Next week: Killjoy bear crushes forest traditions – but holds firm on bathroom arrangements.