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Originally posted by Ischyros
For all intents and purposes, children worship Santa Claus as a god. They ask him for presents just as humans throughout history have praryed to their deity/deities for blessings. They are also encouraged to behave morally in order to receive their coveted gifts from the jolly old saint. Moreover, the expectant hope and ecstatic joy experienced by children on Christmas Eve and morning can certainly be equated with a religious experience.
Parents know that Santa isn't real, yet they help convince their children that he is so. One day their sons and daughters will learn that Mr. Claus ia fantasy and that their parents (the people whom they most likely love and trust more than anyone else in the entire world) have lied to them. Anyone who believes this is not psychologically damaging to children is living in a dream world.
Originally posted by Channy
Where do the origins of Santa come from?
I dont see in any link between Santa and Jesus apart from the 3 wise men giving gifts.
Santa has been passed down from generation to generation - will he ever be erased?
Santa has influenced many areas now like the East. Is this right?
'Santa-Free Zones' created
A group of Germans are wanting to get rid of Santa saying he has become a symbol of the commercialisation of Christmas.
Thousands of stickers have been printed declaring whole areas in Germany and Austria "Santa Free Zones" and pamphlets have been handed out on street corners reminding people that the traditional bringer of presents is St Nicholas and not the red-suited, white-bearded immigrant from the English-speaking world.
In some towns like the east Austrian town of St Wolfgang, Santa has even been banned from the local Christmas market - and shop keepers are restricted to offering traditional Austrian products and gifts as well as typical Austrian culinary delights.
Spokesman Bettina Schade from the Frankfurter Nicholas Initiative 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."
Local tourism manager in St Wolfgang Hans Wieser said: "Santa Claus is not a typical Christmas tradition neither in Germany nor Austria - this red-suited man only turned up over the last decade or so.
"We want to return to our roots and therefore we won't give Santa a chance,"
The anti-Santa campaign stickers that show Santa dressed in red with a bar across the image have become very popular among the increasing number of "Santa Free Zones".
Some Santa Stats---
As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research assistance from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (Jan 90), we are pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.