BY RUPERT DE LISLE
A GERMAN Catholic aid organisation wants to replace the materialistic Santa Claus with St Nicholas to boost the Christian message of Christmas.
The Boniface Association has begun calling for “Santa Claus-free zones”. The organisation says that the present Father Christmas is “an invention of the advertising in dustry designed to boost sales” and “a representative of consumer society”.
St Nicholas, the patron saint of children, is described on the organisation’s website as “a helper in need who reminds us to be kind, to think of our neighbours, and to give the gift of happiness”.
The movement has attracted the support of some German celebrities. “Unlike Santa Claus, Nicholas wants to give children inner riches and not just encourage them to strive for material wealth,” said television presenter Nina Ruege.