Czechs are once again rebelling against a new invader. This time the invader is Santa rather than the USSR.
The Creative Copywriters' Club, a leading advertising association in the Czech Republic, has launched a campaign to eliminate the US-style Santa Claus. Its website, Anti-Santa.cz, features the Virgin Mary suckling the infant Jesus adorned in full Santa garb, replete with a pom-pom-topped hat. "
“This stupid, fat guy with the red outfit has been taking over our television ads and we say it's enough," said Martin Charvat, the creative director at the BBDO agency in Prague and one of the campaign's supporters. “Cardboard Santas were popping up in the Czech capital's Old Town like daffodils in spring. We have our own way of celebrating Christmas with baby Jesus - Jezisek - delivering the gifts. This American Santa is just confusing our children."
The Czechs are not alone in expressing irritation over this American invader. According to the Scotsman and Ananova Germans have also given Santa the sack
The Santa-Free Zone group has printed off thousands of flyers and stickers and is handing them out in towns across Germany. Celebrity newsreader Peter Hahne is championing their campaign to ban Santa. He said it was time that Germany ditched Santa, who has commercialised Christmas, in favour of traditional Yuletide figures such as the Christkind and St. Nicholas.
"St. Nicholas is not Father Christmas. The values associated with the former are selflessness, charity, solidarity, giving and sharing. He is perfect for getting across the Christmas message.
"Santa Claus on the other hand is a product of a consumer society. He is a symbol of shopping and has got nothing to do with Saint Nicholas, who still teaches us today that giving does not make you poorer, but richer," said Hahne.
Even our Father Christmas has changed over the years. Although his dress should be different to Santa (a long rope with hood rather than tunic and cap) it used to be green once. Hmm, perhaps this is the special relationship in action….