As an imported and more recent narrative the Santa story has done outstandingly well. The magic of Santa Claus is every persuasive. Many of course are happy with this innovation and are ambivalent about past narratives that involve more religious aspects of Christmas. The truth is the Santa narrative is suited to our materialistic and secular Australian environment.
Greg Melleuish has observed,that most Australians are only seeking
to lead quiet, comfortable and prosperous livesand that (based views expressed in a book by Pierre Manent, City of Man,in Australia
“the desire of the mass is not so much to pursue the good as to escape the bad.”The Santa narrative pursues these values relentlessly. No wonder Santa Claus is such a hit.
As an aside I wonder whether this is a contributing reason for the increased tension in relationships at Christmas time. The heightened expectation that Christmas is about escaping the bad is often unrealised. Imagine if the Christmas narrative was about dealing with the bad and not about escaping from it or ignoring it.
My argument has been (for reasons stated above) that I don’t support the Santa narrative.The truth is I am I am already signed up somewhere else. So convinced am I of a different narrative around Christmas that I think that promoting Santa is like trying to promote the recent election results of the Australian Democrats, as the main and compelling news story of 2007. Then exitedly inviting people to the after party for the “real” celebrations. Feel free to go ahead but why spend all that energy and time?