Christmastime is coming. The decorations are appearing in shopping centres and the countdown is starting. And it’s going to come up again, I know it is, but I wish it wouldn’t. What am I talking about? Banning Santa. Back in 2007 it was criticism of him saying “ho ho ho”, in 2010 it was banning images of Santa from preschools and schools because it wasn’t “culturally sensitive”, in 2014 it was about the risks of allowing children to sit on his knee, and at various times it has been about his weight or about his possible link to witchcraft or about something.
Whether we look at the origins of St Nicholas from 1800 years ago as the patron saint of children, or the revival in the 1800’s through poetry and art, or the songs of the 1900’s about Santa Claus (Sinterklaas), we are seeing something positive in him aren’t we? We’re seeing something fun, and happy, and magical, and positive, aren’t we?
If you’re celebrating some time off, some family time, some big meals, an annual exchanging of gifts, and maybe you have a big decorated tree and Santa wants to be there, are you going to turn him away? What harm is he doing? I don’t see why Santa HAS to have a religious connotation or any negative connotation. If you aren’t religious, or if Christmas means nothing to you, can you at least be happy for the other people? It’s supposed to be a happy and relaxed time of year. And maybe you can have a tree and an annual Family Tree Day on the same day instead of Christmas, and just share the love and enjoy the day and make it peaceful, happy and fun? Maybe you can just let Santa be there in the background ‘making spirits light’ and encouraging children to be good and giving some people hope and a touch of magic?