Santa Go Home!

Anti Santa

It’s nearly Christmas, and we’re getting into the Christmas Spirit. We’ve sent our Christmas cards and have just decorated our Christmas tree.

Actually the tree decoration was a bit of a wrench for Markéta, who believes (along with the rest of the Czech Republic) that the Christmas tree should miraculously appear decorated on Christmas Eve – and not before! Sometimes though she is nice to her crazy Kiwi husband and compromises so that he can have the tree up for his birthday 

It’s interesting the differences between Christmas here and in other countries. Some of differences are obvious, for example the main celebration here happens on the 24th in the evening, and we eat carp, not ham.

Other differences are starting to become less obvious. For example Father Christmas/Santa Claus has never traditionally visited this country at all.

Instead the presents used to be brought on the 24th in the evening by baby Jesus, who would leave them under the Christmas tee while everyone was having Christmas dinner. No elves, no reindeer, no sleigh – just magic.

But perhaps things are changing. Everywhere you go, you can see the jolly fat man here – in shop windows, in advertising, even in the window of our local pub. Some people down the street from us even have a giant inflatable Santa which (thank goodness) they haven’t put up yet.

All of this is good news for me as I am quietly optimistic that I will get two rounds of presents this year. One from Ježišek, and the other from Father Christmas.

But for most Czechs it’s not good news at all. For them, Santa has no place in the country and his arrival here is hard to fathom as not only is Santa not part of the local tradition, but he in fact destroys this very tradition, Some children now think that the baby Jesus is fat, has a beard and wears a red outfit.

I suspect this phenomenon is driven by globalization and lazy marketers who want to use one campaign for the whole of Europe – or even the whole of the world. If that’s true, then these people are stupid. It is hard to believe that insulting the intelligence and traditions of people in this way is an effective way to generate sales.

The worst thing though is that some people buy into this stupidity and decorate their own houses with Santas.

Markéta has been angry about this for a while now, so she was really excited when someone did something about it. Have a look at www.anti-santa.cz. It’s a lot of fun. We’ll be supporting them!

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