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December 18, 2004

Say hello to Jesus, please

Topics: International News

From Aftenposten, Norway - Dec 18. After all it is Christmas time and of course that means Santa Claus is in the news. From Norway comes this report:

Author Birger Sivertsen has written the perfect Christmas book after researching over 20,000 letters written to Santa Claus in Norway's Drøbak from children around the world.

(Click on image to enlarge - Santa at home in Norway)

The book - "Dear Santa Claus - Can you say hello to Jesus", offers a fascinating look into the close but radically different views of Santa from around the globe.

"Children write from the heart to Santa, and tell him that they steal alcoholic beverages from their parents to give him. They are often unsure what kind of whiskey or sherry he prefers," Sivertsen told Norwegian news agency NTB.

Many countries traditionally offer Santa a strong drink, while Norway is unique in leaving a bowl of oatmeal for the yuletide visitor. 

Besides tales of stolen drams and cases of beer, Sivertsen also notes other examples of consideration for the Christmas spirit.Santa_sign

(click on image to enlarge Santa's sign in town)

Many have suggested diets, fearing the corpulent gift bearer's health is at risk, and Sivertsen also mentioned a boy who put out a bowl of oil in the garden for Santa, and suggested he use it on his posterior to make chimney entry easier.

Most of the letter's to Norway's candidate for the 'real' Santa come from children in Japan, the USA, England, Italy, Germany , Norway, Poland and Russia.

"Santa is a mythical being, nearly a deity. He has immense power and wealth and is more concrete for many children than both God and Jesus," Sivertsen said.

Sivertsen said that Santa doesn't just get requests, but also thank-you letters and post-Christmas complaints. He believes Norwegian children are the most demanding.

"A Norwegian boy sent the entire catalog from a toy store. He wrote that he wanted all of the boy stuff. The postage came to over NOK 100 (USD 16) but he might have thought it was a good investment," Sivertsen said.

The difference in taste between the sexes transcends national boundaries, with boys preferring mechanical and technical toys and girls preferring softer packages and horse paraphernalia.

"I especially remember a letter I got from a girl in Romania. She wanted a pair of jogging shoes but they didn't have to be new, she asked modestly," Sivertsen said.

In today's secular environment it feels very good to write the words Merry Christmas, Happy Chanakuh, Santa Claus, God, and Jesus. If I was at an office party those words could probably get an employer sued. Let's end that, let's work together to reverse this terrible situation that we find ourselves in - a lack of freedom to thank God for our nation, our families, our friends and neighbors, and our lives. I am a Christian and proud of it. If I were a Jew I would be proud of it. If I were a moderate and peaceful Muslim, I'd also be proud. I'd just wonder if I was alone.  Source...

Posted by Hyscience at December 18, 2004 2:19 PM

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