The killing of Santa Claus

PRIESTS at Dijon Cathedral in eastern France arranged an unusual Christmas pageant in front of several hundred stunned schoolchildren in 1951. They hanged and burned Santa Claus.
The growth of Santa as the predominant icon of Christmas in much of the world grew out of the efforts of retail wizards who rightly anticipated making a financial killing if they could convince people to exchange gifts.
It wasn’t always a commercial season. It used to primarily celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and rampant gift giving only became a social necessity at the end of the 19th century.
In recent times, for most people, it has ceased to be a religious festival. The churches do good business on Christmas Day but probably most revellers are in the back pews for that one day a year only because they like the songs or the pretty lights.
You can predict what will happen in the next couple of weeks. It’s traditional at this time of year that some council, in a hamfisted attempt at multiculturalism, will cancel carol services or ban Christmas decorations because it might offend non-Christians.
But if there is one religious group offended by the modern Christmas, it would be the Christians.
There might be less spending in the shops but many people will still deck their halls with environmentally friendly holly and instal the flashing reindeers. Will they remember the reason for the season? Probably not.

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51 thoughts on “The killing of Santa Claus

  1. Yes it is true that the modern celebration of Christmas should unsettle us. I hardly think God wanted to us to get hung up on materialism while celebrating the supernatural intervention of the Creator, to restore people to relationship with himself.

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  2. :)….” Will they remember the reason for the season? Probably not.”

    ……….I’m sure anyone within rifle-shot of you will Lad….

    But why would you imagine the God of all the Universes, the Creator of all there is, isn’t He Who Decided that the Evolution of Christmas should unwind exactly as it has?

    “No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should” you’ve said more than once or twice.

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    • That i fear is a woeful misunderstanding of providence. Its like saying the Nazi’s came about just as he planned it so why bother fighting them. Not everything that happens on this planet is equally pleasing to God, even though He is happy to use everything for His glory. We have an obligation to steer things towards the light, not simply watch as they drift away from it.

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      • Got a chapter and verse for ANY of hour claims?
        Y’could start with the one where god demands we ‘please’ him. 😉

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      • Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is , and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

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      • Dear friend, if you honestly thick that you live your life with no faith your are sadly deluded. Every day you make decisions based on faith. The question is not whether you have faith, it’s what you have faith in. Everyday you work waiting for a pay check at the end of the month is based on your faith/belief, call it what you will that you will be paid.
        Even Dawkins who famously left room for the probability that there is aGod lives by faith that there isn’t.

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      • Another nonsensical slur upon the name of an honest (if not very verbally-accomplished) man.

        —> “Even Dawkins who famously left room for the probability that there is aGod lives by faith that there isn’t.”

        He did NOTHING of the sort. He merely agreed that the fact he couldn’t disprove the existence of god means that the possibility exists that there is.

        ….and specifically said that (a god) “probably doesn’t” exist.

        Perhaps someone’s dumping toxic fertilizer on crapham common?

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      • Quite, quite incorrect, clappy.

        (“Its a conviction of a particular state of affairs based on the evidence you have to hand.”)

        Faith, by definition ~ and, time and again, biblically ~ is the conviction of things of which you have NO evidence.”
        You’ve got it arse-about by EXACTLY 180 degrees.

        ….and so has Karen.
        Obviously.

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  3. Personally don’t believe hanging Santa Claus in front of children is a good idea. condoning violence of any kind isn’t what Christ is about.
    I can tell that in my childhood times we celebrated Jesus day on Christmas. A week prior was angel and the devil going around scaring us children, but on the Eve of Christmas day (the 24th) we celebrated the birth of Jesus. But gifts were given, not as opulent and as many, I remember getting locomotive, obviously second hand since the body was missing and I had only the chassis, but I enjoyed it anyway. That day was about visiting all the relatives, having good time and good food. I personally don’t believe gifting is wrong, but we must keep in mind why we do it.

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  4. ….and let’s face it:- Even he’d find the residual royalties hard to resist (especially if he is, in fact, jewish), and rates and roads-maintenance must cost a bundle.

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  5. “Will they remember the reason for the season?”

    Yes, if we Christians do our small part by sending only ‘religious’ Christmas cards to our families and friends. It takes some effort to find them mind, but it’s well worth it in the end. I’ve been doing it for decades and even though the majority of my friends are non-believers or nominal Christians, do you know that most of them make the effort to send me religious cards back. I just so value their thoughtfulness, even though receiving a Santa card doesn’t worry me in the slightest.

    Don’t be ashamed to stand up for your faith in gentleness and unassuming ways, as I truly believe that others take notice and respect you for it. And if I only ever get to evangelise once a year via my choice of Christmas cards, well then I am happy with that! 🙂

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      • Well said Monica. I think people get put off by those that protest too aggressively about the Santa issue. The better solution is to gently introduce them to the more beautiful and true nature of Christmas. Santa will fade eventually.

        As a child I loved the nativity scene, the reruns of Christmas stories on t.v., the traditional meals that had a connection to the season. We all just have to put an effort in bit by bit.

        I also used to have a hard time finding cards that didn’t have Santa or cutsie rein deer on them. I now get my cards from our church.

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      • I love Santa, Kathleen.

        And I love all the Christmas decorations and nativity scenes. We have three beauties in our local shopping centres—the local Council is mostly represented by committed Catholics, praise God!

        And I love the Christmas prezzies, holidays, food and good cheer. And the way my faith is enlarged around this special time of God’s grace even with all the commercialism and Santa. I couldn’t imagine a Christmas any other way, except that I wish parents would instil in their children the desire (as well as duty) to give to those less fortunate, especially at this special time of year.

        And I miss all the Cecil B DeMille movies (and others) with Christian themes that used to be played on our TV screnes at Easter and Christmas time. I honestly believe that they evangelised me more as a child and teenager, than the years I went to Mass on Sundays. Which brings me to the important conclusion that God can use anyone and by any means to reach us, so Christians especially should stop whining about the secular traditions that bring genuine cheer because they run the risk of being seen as dour and mean spirited which, in my opinion, is not representative of our God.

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      • Monica, were we separated at birth?

        For me it was Jesus Christ Superstar. I was about 8 I think when it came to the cinemas and a friends father took both of us to see it. I was changed. I was in love.

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      • Yeah, it’s lovely that we share so much in common Kathleen.

        Sometimes I really do think that blood is thicker than water. We’ve had quite a journey on this blog, haven’t we? Alla huwa tajjeb 🙂

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      • For such a little island, they have a colourful history.

        “Islam started with the Hegira, when Mohammed fled from Mecca to Medina in AD 622. Before long his followers spread across North Africa into Spain and across the Pyrenees. Their expansion into Europe was stopped by the French King Charles Martel at Tours in AD 732, just one hundred years after the death of Mohammed. They invaded and captured Palermo in AD 832 and in 870 they invaded Malta. Once again Malta came in contact with a new and vigorous Semitic people.

        Unfortunately, very little documentation relating to the two centuries of Arab rule in Malta survives today. Indeed, Arab influence in Malta lasted much longer, since the Normans, who invaded in 1090 and took over the island from the Arabs, were indeed enlightened people and they tolerated the presence of the Arabs in the island. In fact, Count Roger never garrisoned the islands. Arab influence remained more or less unrestricted till about 1224, when the Muslims were finally expelled. The chief legacy of the Arab occupation in Malta must be the Maltese language itself, which has many elements of Arabic.”

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      • And, most importantly:

        “The first Jew known to have set foot on Malta was Paul of Tarsus, whose ship foundered there in 62 CE. Paul went on to introduce Christianity to the island population.” 🙂

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  6. Yes people want to get rid of the commercialism of Christmas but generally not lift a finger to do anything about it themselves. So Christmas trees continue to appear in the Malls in October. I saw one Christian on a Christian site that was enlisting the help of his fellow Christians on how to talk his brother into giving his children gifts for Christmas.

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  7. The reason for the season ? Wasn’t it originally some Roman pagan festival ? Now it’s food, family and gifts. It’s a fantastic time of the year and if Christians don’t like how modern Aussies celebrate it they can butt out.

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  8. This was apparently not being posted above, so here ’tis again:-
    (worth repeating in any case)

    ps. this is a great website if you’ve got a year or two to waste! eg

    http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vpe7a
    …and there’re even a couple about the ‘Killing of Santa Clause’ and the plight of hordes of unemployed elves, reindeer and other helpers.

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      • The kindest respone to that question, Mon, is that god doesn’t exist. If he did anyone with any decency would have to declare him ‘The Enemy of the People’ and outlaw him.

        I was just thinking the other day that some (virtually-automatic) principles need to be re-examined.
        …among which are those pertaining to ‘racism’.

        If asian ‘cultures’ (among others) insist upon their ‘cultural right’ to act like uncivilised barbarians on the basis of ‘racial characteristics’ (check out the jap ‘culture’ at work on -particularly – the dolphin-slaughters) then they ought to be treated accordingly.
        …and stood up to: militarily where necessary.

        ….and that includes keeping out boat-people (or anybody else) unless they agree to forsake their cultural/nationalistic crap. Because of today’s ease of traffic and transport what used to be local sewers are turning into a tsunami that’s set to swamp the world. Asian and Middle-Eastern gangs are even ‘out-brutalising’ the ‘traditional’ bikie-gangs.

        It’s time to take a stand.

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      • Gotta stop blaming God Dabs.

        There are some folk that He just can’t get through to. Personally, I think they are imbeciles. 😉

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      • You misunderstand. (“Gotta stop blaming God Dabs”). By saying ‘god doesn’t exist’ I was trying to kindly NOT blame him, since if he doesn’t exist he can’t be blamed.

        But if “There are some folk that He just can’t get through to.” then I’d have to question his omnipotence. (‘impotence’?)

        ….and I did realise that “Personally, I think they are imbeciles.” wasn’t directed at me.
        They’re worse than imbeciles, though; imbeciles can claim some reduced degree of culpability.
        Mongrels like these can’t.
        ….and they’re lucky I’M not god!

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    • Gregory,
      are you really guaranteeing that the ‘Wise Men’ – (Astrologers/Magi/Magicians or whatever they were) actually numbered precisely three???? Thought that was a legendary assumption based purely on symbolism, and on the tale that they brought three gifts. The assumption is rather similar to the assumption that the lass who danced for Herod was actually named Salome. (I seem to recall reading some historical research that explained that if she really were Salome, she would have been the wrong age. Herod wouldnt have wanted a mature woman to dance for his celebration. Typical Arabian Nights fantasy anyway, and pinch from story of Esther, who was also ‘offered half the kingdom’.) Neither ‘fact’ I point to above, is mentioned in the Christian Testament.
      Rian.

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  9. Wasn’t it the 3 wisemen from the east, which realized something of the importance of His birth, and brought gifts !

    Jesus himself gave to the poor, and how are we to help the sick, the poor, the mistreated, the elderly, and such if we decide all material values are bad… they’re not, although what one does to get etc those may be, but they’re always only limited in their term of usefulness.

    The idea selfless loving givingness defines the moral, behavioural perfect the gospels authors wrote about, and Jesus did sacrifice His own possessions and peace and life to be righteous, as God, the 1st authority, wanted Him to do, but I have trouble with how the meanings of absolutes in terms of how behaviours, attitudes, opinions, etc. actually serve the True greatest good for all livingkind.

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    • ’twas indeed, Gregory –> “Wasn’t it the 3 wisemen from the east, which realized something of the importance of His birth, and brought gifts !”

      But a closer reading of the script would suggest they weren’t all that wise.
      :- (… And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.)

      If they saw the star in the east, and followed it, they’d have ended up in India!
      ….or Perth 😯

      …..er, Monica…………

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    • Except that the poor, the sick, etc would be ignored if the charities did not work extra hard in the weeks leading to Christmas, to store resources over the Christmas period. Most charities would suffer over the Christmas break if they depended on the christmas spirit. Sad but that’s the truth.

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  10. Gifts were brought to the Christ-child, but that isn’t the take on Christmas giving today.

    I believe Christmas needs to get away from the celebration of the midwinter turn in the seasons. Let’s keep that, it’s a joyous time, great harmless fun for children, and a good excuse to rekindle family ties and old friendships – but in mid winter, devoid of any religious implications, just a cultural heritage.

    Christmas can still be a time of rekindling, perhaps a long neglected visit to a church service, perhaps a time of thanksgiving, which is often neglected amongst the woes of the world that currently flood into our homes.

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