To a Christian (such as myself), Santa is a big fat symbol of capitalistic greed taking over what’s technically our religious holiday. (99% of us get over it on the theological loophole of, “Ooh! Presents!”)
I had a strange and somewhat disturbing moment in Indonesia one Christmas, when I discovered that poor Muslims were refusing charity gifts from Western countries because they contained pictures of Santa – something they considered a Christian religious symbol.
Arg. In this particular instance, volunteers sorted through the presents removing all the Santas, and it was all fine.
Indonesia is also the country that responded to terrorist attacks on churches by beefing up security – and dressing the armed guards as Santa. I like that.
THANK YOU to my parents for always telling me, “Santa Claus is a game we play at Christmas”, and for never forcing me to sit on the scary man’s knee.
And THANK YOU for my church, for happily bringing Santa into the celebrations, letting him give away ACTUAL LOLLIES (good health and OH&S can get stuffed) – and most of all, for having him ride in on this each year:
Coming soon: Modern art. Secret Squirrel. And my review of “Leviathan” and “Behemoth” by Scott Westerfeld, who is infinitely cooler than Santa.