Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Clauscientious Objector-Reason 1

As a child growing up in a developing country Santa Claus never visited me at Christmas time. I did not know he even existed for some time. Perhaps this oversight of my parents and Santa Claus himself has led to a deep resentment unresolved by hours of gestalt physiotherapy, that is possible! My own conclusion is that being third culture kid gives you opportunity to stand back and question the world differently.

Does the promotion of Santa Claus promote economic inequality? It seems the rich white kids always get the most expensive gifts from Santa Claus. Certainly the need to enjoy the season has led many Sydneysiders to spend thousands of dollars on professional Christmas house decorators so they can have bragging rights over their neighbours. That of course may not be Santas fault. Perhaps as a corrective there is room here for Santa evangelists spreading the “good news” so that rich and poor are treated equally. I can see our retailers lining up with glee.

Perhaps the promotion of Santa Claus is disrespectful of other cultures? In multicultural Australia my observation is that the Santa obsession injects an unnecessary dose of western materialism, secularism and mythology into an already complex situation. There is a clear and unspoken expextation that those eager to adapt to their new found home will embrace the man in a red suit with as much delight as many of us do. Those who object will find it hard to do so without causing offence.

There are many things about our culture that I think are worth adopting and promoting but I remain to be convinced that this is one of them or even that I lacked something in my childhood by missing out on Santa Claus. Does this sound a bit too PC (politically correct) ?

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