"That's not Christmas," Archbishop Fabriciano Sigampa of the northern city of Resistencia said in mass, insisting that children should not confuse celebrating the birth of Christ "with a fat man dressed in red."Commenting on the story, Father Ray Blake added this wise thought:
Sigampa's ire was aroused by plans for a snow covered cabin in the city's main square where a Father Christmas figure would hear children's wishes and receive donated toys to be given out to poor children.
"Surely, in the coming days there will be a deluge of advertisements after they inaugurate the house where a fat man dressed in red lives. And we should not confuse, we should not confuse Christmas with that."
He said children "should know that, in reality, the gifts come from the efforts of their parents and with the help of Jesus." [more]
Though we do not want kindergartens of howling children complaining "Father has ruined my Christmas", I think we Catholics ought to avoid implicating ourselves in deliberately deceiving children, just incase they see the Incarnation as being equally untrue.I have heard several young people - perhaps sincerely, perhaps not - use this very example as a reason they do not accept the faith of the Church. If parents have deceived them as children about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, it makes some sense to them that they may also have been deceived about Jesus.
Consider, for a moment, the great energy and thought given by parents to convince their children that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy visit their homes. Now consider, for a moment, the great energy and thought given by parents to show their children the truth of Jesus Christ. Oh, wait... It isn't equal, is it? Houston, we have a problem.
Just a thought to ponder.