Monday, November 27, 2006

Irony is the driving force of the universe

Santa Claus is being banned from Christmas markets in Germany and Austria.

Anti-Santa campaigners claim Father Christmas was invented by Coca-Cola and detracts from the true spirit of the festive season.

Austria's biggest Christmas market is in front of the Vienna city hall where thousands of visitors march past stalls offering everything related to Christmas - except Santa.

The only Santa to be seen is the one in the middle of the occasional 'Ban Santa' stickers.


The move in Vienna has been followed by Christmas markets across Austria and Germany where St Nicholas is the traditional bearer of Christmas gifts.

Bettina Schade, from the Frankfurter Nicholas Initiative in Germany, said: "We object to the material things, the hectic rush to buy gifts, and the ubiquity of the bearded man in
the red suit that are taking away from the core meaning of Christmas.

"The Christian origins of Christmas, like the birth of Jesus, have receded into the
background. It's becoming more and more a festival that is reduced to simply worldly gifts and commerce."

Now this story I like: Old Europeans castigating the US for undermining Christianity.


Blogger Susan's Husband said...

And of course they only get it half right. Santa Claus was not invented by Coca Cola, he predates the formation of that company. What Coca Cola did was to iconify Santa Claus in to the specific image that is used to represent him today. I think that Santa Claus was much more pagan before the Coca Cola make-over, but who am I to pit my opinions against the stylish savvy of the EUlite?

November 27, 2006 8:34 AM  
Blogger Brit said...

I thought the "EUlite" wanted to change it to Winterval, not big up the Christian side of things.

November 27, 2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

...are taking away from the core meaning of Christmas.

Faith is about the core meaning of Christmas. Reason is about presents. Gotta respect both.

November 27, 2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

So they are opposed to the hectic rush to buy presents at the Christmas market?

So, close the market.

Besides Santa Claus=Sinter Klaas=St. Nicholas in Dutch.

Is there anything more tiresome than someone grousing about the loss of the True Spirit of Christmas?

November 27, 2006 11:59 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Back before OJ started consigning all dissent to the memory hole, creeper offered up a pretty compelling case for why Christmas sends such mixed messages.

And also why, in this case, the irony is so ironical.

November 27, 2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

Bless him, but I've just added spending Christmas with creeper to my list of postmodern notions of Hell. In contrast, it would be great with Harry and you too, Skipper, provided you promised never to utter the word irony.

November 28, 2006 2:59 AM  
Blogger David said...

I'm a conservative from Massachusetts, so I think that Christmas should be outlawed.

November 28, 2006 6:29 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Christmas in general seems to be on the ropes in Europe.

Last year, I decided to expand my collection of carols, which are mostly British and American. So I swept eBay, starting with Italy.




I finally found a grand total of 2 -- count 'em, 2 -- Christmas carol CDs for sale on eBay in all of Europe, excluding U.K.

Two collections of Swedish carols. The seller told me he picked them up at a garage sale, where no one wanted them because they're 'just for children.'

I wrote a column about it.

November 29, 2006 3:50 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Let me put in a plug here for the only Christmas movie I like; the only one with a grownup plot.

Bill Forsythe's 'Comfort and Joy.'

November 30, 2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger David said...

Harry: An excellent movie.

December 01, 2006 6:44 AM  

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