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We’re dreaming of a White Christmas

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, December 3rd, 2018 - 116 comments
Categories: clickbait, journalism, Media, social media lolz, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

On the first day of Christmas someone’s editor said to them:

Bring me a story that is guaranteed click bait and that will cause huge dissent between the conservative block that hates change and the progressive block that embraces change, diversity and doing things to reflect our unique indigenous culture.

So they went out and found this story about a Santa who was not a fat old guy with fake facial hair as normal but was a Maori and dressed in a magnificent red Korowai and held a figurative taiaha.

Some of the kids were disappointed their safe world view had been threatened.  Wait until they learn about how we have made a mess of dealing with climate change.

Their parents were also not and I suspect that they were the most unhappy people.

One parent was overhead asking how he was going to explain to his daughter that “that man was coming down the chimney on Christmas eve”.

Parade goers aired their disappointment online, with most comments showing outrage at the unexpected Santa.

“We had tears after that parade with Santa being a no-show.”

“Dear Nelson City Council. It’s hard enough being a parent at Christmas without you throwing us under the bus.”

“Santa is an INTERNATIONAL ICON, not Kiwi.”

Others thought it was great.  Like Carlo Weigand who said he thought it was “fantastic” and said “[w]hat a surprise. So Kiwi.”

And Social Media did erupt into an outcry with one person complaining that they were stripped of a magical christmas moment.

It is funny really that those not wanting their kids to be exposed to change are normally the same ones that talk about their kids needing to toughen up and call us lefties “snowflakes”.

Of course by writing this I am adding to the social media pile up.  But it is more in the nature of observing pile ups as a political phenomenon.

Any way merry christmas and seasons greetings in whichever way you want them expressed.  And if you have kids expose them to change and new ideas and engender into them pride about our country and our unique culture.  We have a lot to celebrate.

116 comments on “We’re dreaming of a White Christmas ”

  1. Chris T 1

    And as long as a few fringe adults like you think it is cool, who cares about the kids, eh?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Who says kids did not think it was cool? My kids would have really liked the idea.

      • infused 1.1.1

        no one found it ‘cool’. it was fucking stupid.

        • solkta 1.1.1.1

          Surely it couldn’t get any more stupid than the regular thing.

          • Naki man 1.1.1.1.1

            “Surely it couldn’t get any more stupid than the regular thing.”

            It’s not for you Solkta
            What is wrong with little kids having some harmless fun watching the big fat bearded man.

    • JanM 1.2

      And my mokos would think it was great ! And as an early childhood teacher, I can’t think of any child I have met who wouldn’t enjoy it as much as any other depiction of santa, unless their parents kicked up an unholy fuss, that is!

      • You_Fool 1.2.1

        I can think of some who if they had been hyped up on what Santa was “meant to” look like being upset if that requirement was not met. However, if they had been prepared, or not had a specific image burned into their minds then I am sure they would think it was fine.

        The issue is that we as a culture have certain images burned into our culture, and Santa being a creepy old white man is one of them. It is about time we start dropping these anachronistic images and start to move into the modern times.

    • Rapunzel 1.3

      Well they could have said go and find someone who voted for the Maori Party and ask them why.

    • Rapunzel 1.4

      Most kids will go with whatever the adults are saying as long as they get the pressies. It’s rather a case of who’s trying to convince who.

  2. the other pat 2

    well lets see….we must we must preserve all things Maori ra ra…..and thats all good……Santa comes from an even older “european” culture but its not ok for us to say noooooo this is not good???…..fuck off…. go be a fluffy leftie on some other issue.

    • JanM 2.1

      I suspect, having revealed yourself as racist, that you wouldn’t have much liked the original either – he was Turkish – lol

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        But a\isn’t the other pat just being annoyed enough to say something that is true. That we are being taught to respect and enjoy our indigenous culture from way back, but why replace our enjoyed older culture, why not both?

        It is a left authoritarian approach to declaim, ‘We have decided that something is not pure or good in our eyes. So it will be banished from now on.’ I don’t want purist lefties teaching me the PC way about everything any more than from the righties with their agenda.

        • JanM 2.1.1.1

          We have got both, haven’t we? The ‘tradition’ going back to America in the 30s can surely have the odd stick poked at it without mass hysteria breaking out – there are probably a few oldies in the Maori world having a bit of a fit about the Nelson santa as well – lol

      • Gabby 2.1.2

        How could he have been Turkish janny?

        • JanM 2.1.2.1

          St Nicholas was born in what is now Turkey

          • Gabby 2.1.2.1.1

            So he’d be Turkish if he was born now then. Of course he wouldn’t be much into Christmas would he. But he wasn’t born now, he was born c. the 3rd century AD, so I guess he was a Roman guy

            • Visubversa 2.1.2.1.1.1

              The Holy Roman Empire was established in 313AD – the 4th Century, so if he was born in the 3rd Century, he was most likely a pagan.

          • the other pat 2.1.2.1.2

            and Jan….well it was greece back then apparently from wiki…..”Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students “…..any politicians repentant thieves?
            also Jan you are quick to put the racist card out there…..my comment was not and in fact acknowledged what we do with Maori culture …..WHAT I AM however is a person who cannot stand fucktards like you bandying about the racist card with no knowledge….you are part of the problem not a solution….merry fucking christmas.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Nobody was saying that we should remove the traditional santa.

  3. ianmac 3

    Curious that the Coke invention of the bearded red coated Father Christmas was dismissed by Guyon. But he was a commercial invention in the 1931 I think.

    • JanM 3.1

      Correct – by Coca Cola

      • You_Fool 3.1.1

        Incorrect, was designed in 1881 by Thomas Nast. It was populised by the Coca-cola company in 1931 who used Nast’s paintings as inspiration

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_suit

        • ianmac 3.1.1.1

          It was designed by Nast but had different colours. Green or brown I think. Coca Cola set the red colour fur trim and beard in 1931?

          • You_Fool 3.1.1.1.1

            According to Wikipedia, he first did it green coat then later red coat. There are images of Santa as we now know him pre-1931. However, it wasn’t until Coca-cola used him in their ads with red and white that he settled into that image in popular culture. Before that he was some combination of brown, tan, green, red, white.

            Coca-cola acknowledges Nast as the creator of the red/white Santa and that they used his drawings as inspiration for their ads.

  4. Heather Tanguay 4

    How sad, some people have so little to be outraged about. We think we have come a long way in NZ, we have a very long way to go. What a sad message parents are giving their children.

    • Cinny 4.1

      Very well said Heather.

    • JanM 4.2

      “What a sad message parents are giving their children”. Only a few, hopefully – surely most people would be cool with it, don’t you think?

    • greywarshark 4.3

      What exact sad message is that Heather?

      • Cinny 4.3.1

        I read that as; it is sad that parents are getting upset about santa, as there are many more important things to be outraged about.

        If all they have to worry about is santa not wearing a particular outfit, then life must be pretty damn good for them.

    • You_Fool 4.4

      Apparently too many snowflakes in this world who just need to harden up….

      • greywarshark 4.4.1

        But when humans harden up they can break mountains. I don’t think your comment You Fool shows a Christmas spirit that extends friendship and love out into the community. Perhaps you should soften up.

        I think Santa is NOT a non-event, and the present discordant discourse is a perfect example of how brutalised the machine and efficiency society related to the free market has formed in us. I went to Scrooge done steampunk style in Nelson last week. That is the example we need to follow – turning dreary tales, and sad events right round and turning up positives where we can.

        Don’t know just how this applies but this word came to mind. Are we free or is everything a construct that once decided then restricts us from thinking otherwise. But there must be something definite to refer to or we float?
        existentialism
        noun: existentialism

        – a philosophical theory or approach which emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.

        • You_Fool 4.4.1.1

          It is strange that those who get upset with people taking offense at things like saying town names the “white way” and call people “snowflakes” and say things like “harden up, it’s only a joke” tend to be the ones that get upset and worked up over something like this…

          Maybe, just maybe, we should stop labeling things?

          Also there is no external right or justice or good, there is only the constructs we build, and each of our constructs are our own and are ever so slightly different to anyone else’s. There is no independent view of the universe or the human condition. Everything is relative to the observer, and the same event can be viewed differently by different people, and both observers can be correct. Also the very act of observing the event changes it, so that even our history is non-determined and is in fact in flux based on our own model’s of reality

          • greywarshark 4.4.1.1.1

            Community at Christmas, enjoying the same things that is the beauty of it. Not each one seeing the event through different eyes. It’s not a sporting
            match where there is competition and then an enjoyable period of picking out the highs and lows of the game. Everything in flux which it is, makes it more important to have some things that stay the same for those who want.

            • You_Fool 4.4.1.1.1.1

              The nature of reality is that everyone does see everything through different eyes, and understanding that it what so called “PC” culture is really about.

              You have your traditions, those are different to mine although there may be some overlap, and that is different to others, and there may be overlap and there may not.

      • gsays 4.4.2

        To be fair, a snowflake should feel safe at Christmas.

  5. SaveNZ 5

    Father Xmas is a construct, for commercial uses. So I for one are sick of the furore over the non event of Santa and the identity politics taking precedence over more important issues around xmas time.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +11

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 5.2

      Don’t get in the way of others enjoying Christmas though. I couldn’t care less about Santa, but I love the happiness a traditional Christmas brings out in all those around me. A woke Christmas sounds boring and pretentious

  6. Cinny 6

    Okie dokie, so my girls went to this parade as well, with their dad.

    It’s really important to remember that Nelson is a very white town. Santa in a stunning red feathered cloak would probably not have looked out of place in Motueka or the North Island, but in Nelson, dang some of them would have had heart murmurs when he appeared.

    Miss 14 said when she got home that it was weird there was no traditional santa. But she wasn’t too bothered about it at all.

    Yes some younger kids were upset, in their little minds santa is a guy in a red suit with a big white beard. So naturally the unexpected would have rocked them a little bit.

    Personally, if it encourages conversation, then bloody good.

    Pssst kids… who is santa? Awww mum, you are santa and the easter bunny, and the tooth fairy and god isn’t real, and jesus was a spiritual teacher. Because in the end it’s up to the parents to educate on those types of subjects.

    Parents could spin a yarn, oh santa was busy so a strong maori warrior looked after his sleigh and reindeer, during the santa parade. Parents making a fuss will just upset and confuse the younger kids even more.

    Meanwhile the ‘red neck’ float from last weeks Richmond Santa Parade was banned from the Nelson parade.
    Then I discover ex husband had helped supply the beer cans they used to decorate their float. Dang, go figure lmao.
    Miss 14 told me that the rednecks still don’t fully understand what the big deal was about the confederate flag on their truck.

    Nelson is a beautiful region, but the people can be very stuck in their ways and conservative in their opinions. One of the reasons I’m raising the kids in Motueka.

    Am not at surprised at the reaction/over reaction from the nelson locals. Don’t forget they have been brainwashed into voting for nick smith for way too long.

    Bravo to the Arts Council 🙂

    PS Seasons Greetings and blessings to all for the coming Summer Solstice.

    • SaveNZ 6.1

      Remember Labour and Greens got more electoral votes than Nick Smith, (like Auckland central and a few other places) so don’t blame the locals when it could have been simpler if the Labour and Greens collaborated in split/close regions for electoral choice and only run one candidates to speak for both.

    • patricia bremner 6.2

      Cheers Cinny, you can be counted on for a good deal of common sense, and a real sense of what matters. Have a happy time with your girls.

    • veutoviper 6.3

      And seasons greetings also to you, Cinny, your girls and everyone here at TS.

      Perhaps we can also put aside any political views on Israel etc and include in that “Happy Hanukkah” as last night was the first night of the eight day Jewish ‘Hanukkah’ or ‘Chanukah’ – commonly called Festival of the Lights which dates back to the second century BC and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

      Here is a quick history. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/hanukkah

      Hanukkah is early this year due to the different Jewish calendar but often occurs closer to Christmas. Various celebrations will be held throughout NZ – here are a few:

      https://1.org.nz/hanukkah-in-the-park-wellington-2/

    • Cinny 6.4

      Thanks beautiful ladies 🙂 Hugs and loves to you and yours Patricia and VV 🙂

  7. Sabine 7

    Wait until they learn that Christmas is literally the celebration of the birth of a child, to a refugee mother (a virgin too) in a sheep/cow/animal shelter cause no motels posted any vacancies. No Santa, no reindeer, no christmas tree……none of that stuff at all.

    Heads will explode.

  8. Dorothy Bulling 8

    How long will it take before we get to the stage where those who do not believe in many of the ideas being put forward by various groups will be villified by those groups for daring to express disapproval. We sre not all tree hugging, gender fluid, anything goes, express yourself regardless of sensitivity, citizens. Many of us, young and old are normal individuals contributing to the community in ehich we live, doing the best by our families, and yet it seems that if we try to express our opinions about many of the issues constantly put before us by social media and news media, on subjects like gender, we are cried down. Conservative views are valid, and we have every right to express those views. In future, historians might well decide that there are epidemics of people with lifestyles that are not the norm, and wonder why some things were tolerated. I am a reasonale person, but I do not believe in same sex marriage, do not believe that a school prizegiving is the place to publicise what you do in your private life, do not need to know what perversions you might practise in the privacy of your own home. How would all these alternative lifestylrrs feel if the rest of us came out and started talkibg in public about activities best left in the bedroom. Not good manners, and high time some got the message that we do not need to know. Too much information is not necessarily a good thing. Santa is a European invention, and sur
    rise! ! Lots of us have European ancestry, including many who also have Maori in their bloodline. Does living here mean we must give up our European traditions just because some believe in other traditions? My Scottish heritage is just as valid as any Maori or other tradition or culture and I have the right to say so. And that is not racist, just what I come from.

    • JanM 8.1

      He he – we all think we’re ‘normal’, Dorothy

    • solkta 8.2

      I am a reasonale person, but I do not believe in same sex marriage

      It is not reasonable to deny equal legal rights to people based on their sexuality.

      • Cinny 8.2.1

        Love is love it knows no gender, love should be celebrated always.

      • the other pat 8.2.2

        however Dorothy is allowed her opinion….it is neither wrong or right….only you determine that in your own head……YOUR opinion counts as well of course…..but we wont put you down for that………….

        • solkta 8.2.2.1

          I didn’t say that she was not entitled to an opinion. She is entitled to her opinion, but her opinion cannot reasonably be described as reasonable based on the law and philosophy that underpins our society. Constitutionally we live in a secular state and the principles of natural justice guaranteed in our Bill of Rights make it clear that all are equal before the law.

    • mickysavage 8.3

      Is having a diversity of representations of cultural icons such a bad thing?

    • Pete 8.4

      How long will it be before we get to the stage of moves to get all those books out of libraries which have make believe characters like fairies in them do you think?

      Is Santa Claus being done away with in that sort of sphere?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.5

      Conservative views are valid, and we have every right to express those views.

      No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

      IME, most conservative views fail the basic sniff test.

      • One Two 8.5.1

        You’ve posted those words before Draco…and you’re wrong and so is the link…

        Everyone IS entitled to their opinion…

        That you’ve posted a repeat says you don’t ‘get it’…

        • Draco T Bastard 8.5.1.1

          I get it – you don’t.

          An opinion is worthless if it isn’t backed by fact. It’s as simple as that.

          Most conservative views aren’t.

      • shadrach 8.5.2

        An article proclaiming we’re not entitled to our opinions expresses this opinion “The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned.” Haha.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.5.2.1

          Try the full quote:

          “The problem with ‘I’m entitled to my opinion’ is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for ‘I can say or think whatever I like’ and, by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful,”

          or this bit:

          “If ‘everyone’s entitled to their opinion’ just means no one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true but fairly trivial,” Stokes writes. “But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false.”

          • shadrach 8.5.2.1.1

            The quote ends with “…it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned.” Which opinions ‘should have been abandoned’ is a matter of opinion. It’s a joke, but then most people who advocate limiting other peoples opinions usually fall into the same trap.

      • the other pat 8.5.3

        wrong wrong wrong

    • Molly 8.6

      “I am a reasonale person, but I do not believe in same sex marriage, do not believe that a school prizegiving is the place to publicise what you do in your private life, do not need to know what perversions you might practise in the privacy of your own home.”

      I am a fairly reasonable person Dorothy Bulling, and mostly happy to leave your ranting without criticism because in the end, anyone reading it will require no explanation to how unfortunately common but still pitiful your opinions are.

      However, the sentence above leads to such discourse and indicates such disregard and disdain that it may cause harm in the real world. Read it to yourself again, and see how contradictory it is to put that sentence in the same paragraph with the idea of tolerance.

    • Descendant Of Smith 8.7

      It’s like the enlightenment never happened though I think there is enough evidence that things are getting better.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

      Using reasonable and then listing a number of things that do not stand up to reason is a little odd though. English isn’t that fluid.

      If you have to give up things (I assume you mean beliefs rather than actual things) then you should do so because they do not stand up to reason and they are not humanistic.

      We’re not still living in the 17th century.

  9. greywarshark 9

    I wish a very Merry Christmas to all here who wish their community well and are involved in trying to broaden horizons and opportunities for all to have a life where they are not constantly being criticised because of their difference from the current in-group of Concerned People. My good wishes to all those who belong to the out-group who allow for differences to enter into the culture, provided they have positive outcomes. The people who are both dissenters and joiners, not just echo chambers and submissives to every PC Groupthink idea that comes along.

    • solkta 9.1

      Could you define what you mean by “PC”? Usually that translates as “things i don’t like”.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Well solkta you are PC yourself, constantly checking what things others say to see if they match your idea of what is correct. Is that a help?

        • solkta 9.1.1.1

          I read what people write and express my opinion and that is PC? Aren’t you doing the same?

          No, you have given no meaning at all.

          • greywarshark 9.1.1.1.1

            You are right solkta, having scanned your output I see no meaning at all and just kneejerk reaction to whatever you can label as non-PC. This has now outlived it’s usefulness as a tag to think and be sensitive to others feelings. It is now being over-used principally by those who use disinfectant solutions that say they kill 99% of known germs.

            • solkta 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m sorry if you are not capable of understanding the arguments i put forward and the idea that others are entitled to have opinions. Or the meaning of a question mark. I do understand that the modern world can be daunting to old conservative people. I do hope that by continuing to participate on this site that you may come to understand the concepts and arguments presented.

              I am not quite sure what you are saying in your second and third sentences about your use of the term “PC”.

              • greywarshark

                That is a very long comment sokta. Quite unlike your usual vinegarish throwaways. Good on you. You’re coming along well.

    • Sabine 9.2

      is PC like civility?

    • patricia bremner 9.3

      We have a gay son. A more caring kind person you would be hard pressed to find.
      The caustic self righteous “my way or the highway” diatribe deserves no reply,
      except this lady mentioned she was scottish.
      So are we by descent.
      Does she know James the V1 of Scotland and 1st of England was gay. He is part of that history you claim. So “perversions” as you call them are part of your culture as well. You obviously fired that off in anger, as it was full of errors.
      People like you cause such harm to people coming to terms with their difference.
      Narrow nasty and angry and full of self /id.
      If I have over reacted please delete moderators.

      • greywarshark 9.3.1

        patricia bremner I wish you would indicate which commenter you are aiming your thoughts at? I know it’s not me as i don’t mention perversions.

        If it is Dorothy Bulling I have some good advice for her to follow. I suggest when she writes a small novel about her feelings, that she breaks it up into paragraphs, each one with a different complaint; that is part of the European tradition of culture when writing. Please note this in future and not send your rant brick through our window. Then we can really savour your exquisite distaste for people who are strangely different to your own good self.

        There is nothing like a good rant for clearing the tubes, and our present world is sometimes just too hard to cope with I know. Best thing to do is take a deep breath, have a cup of tea, and thank god that you aren’t like these others, and wave the flag of your choice. Merry Christmas to you and your family, (if my greeting is acceptable to you.)

  10. greywarshark 10

    I wish a very Merry Christmas to all here who wish their community well and are involved in trying to broaden horizons and opportunities for all to have a good life. And this is one where they are not regularly criticised because of their difference from the current in-group of Concerned People, beating up a fine froth of moral outrage.

    My good wishes to all those who belong to the out-group who allow for differences to enter into the culture, provided they can reasonably be incorporated and have positive outcomes. These people are both dissenters and joiners, not just echo chambers and submissives to every PC Groupthink idea that comes along.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Politically correct seasons greetings

    I particularly liked the bit about the ‘Southern Hemisphere’.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Oh thanks for giving us that Christmas card/message DTB. It’s a prize winner.
      And Merry Christmas to you and yours. And call your computer ‘Holly’ like in Red Dwarf, seasonally appropriate.

    • patricia bremner 11.2

      DTB, Thanks so much. This says it with grace. May everyone enjoy time with family and friends, and have some of their wishes and hopes come true.

  12. White Santa is a nasty old man who gives beautiful expensive gifts to rich children and nothing or crappy cheap toys to poor children. He says if you are naughty you get nothing so poor children think it’s their fault and rich children think they are entitled. Maori Santa is a big improvement.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Christmas message from the Beatles – Let It Be:

    Paul and his backing, nice version: 2010?
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDYfEBY9NM4

    Shine a light into hearts bruised by events in our world – Bring Joy to the good-hearted and Let it Be.

  14. AB 14

    The Maori Santa sounds awesome.
    Surely we are ready for a Maori Jesus by now, it being nearly Christmas and everything?
    We even know what he might be like thanks to Jim (James K) Baxter:

    “I saw the Maori Jesus
    Walking on Wellington Harbour.
    He wore blue dungarees,
    His beard and hair were long.
    His breath smelled of mussels and paraoa.
    When he smiled it looked like the dawn.
    When he broke wind the little fishes trembled.
    When he frowned the ground shook.
    When he laughed everybody got drunk.
    …..
    The first day he was arrested
    For having no lawful means of support.
    The second day he was beaten up by the cops
    For telling a dee his house was not in order.
    The third day he was charged with being a Maori
    And given a month in Mt Crawford.
    The fourth day he was sent to Porirua
    For telling a ***** the sun would stop rising.
    ….”

  15. BM 15

    Expect blowback against Labour.

    This bullshit would never happen if National was in charge.

  16. bwaghorn 16

    Maybe now Maori will be less precious when some none Maori turns up doing something traditionally Maori.

  17. millsy 17

    It seems that Christmas parades are the new battleground for NZ’s culture wars.

  18. Ed 18

    Jim Mora referenced this story on his Panel in a disapproving tone…..

  19. Observer Tokoroa 19

    To : Dorothy Bulling

    I regret that you were ripped apart by some Comments on here. You are entitled to your opinions. As other persons are entitled to theirs.

    In my experience It is often not easy to grant people their point of view. Especially when someone is being very negative. Indeed, it is not easy to determine what “same sex marriage” really means. For some people it is Bliss. For others it isn’t.

    However, there is, I think, huge value in the very ancient piece of wisdom which states:
    “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

  20. I'maLeftieToo 20

    Sinterklaas, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas: St Nicholas was born in to Greek Parents, in an area that used to be Greek but is now part of Turkey, he was Catholic, his parents died and he used his inheritance to give to those who were not so well off,for the love of children to bring happiness in others made him happy. He became known as ‘Father Christmas” – Sinterklaas in the Netherlands is where “santa claus” gets the name.
    St Nicholas Day is the mosy important Christmas/December day for children in Germany and Netherlands. It only evolved to have ‘Santa’ at the same time as Christmas, for commercial reasons. The gift of new life is celebrated on Christmas Eve. With new life,comes hope and love.
    I am a ‘leftie’, i was raised in a christian home by a woman who qas, to many, the epitome of what a ‘christian’ is all about (love, forgiveness, sharing, giving; standing up for what is right, just and true; hope, and her faith knew no bounds. I sit on the fence, I’m pragmatic – but i will defend the traditions i was raised with. Christmas and Santa/Sinterklaas, St Nicholas is separate from *Christmas, but over generations the 2 have been blended for commercial and probably ‘convenient’ (time off work) reasons. I think in Europe, the celebration of St Nicholas’ Day is lovely – it focusses on giving of yourself to otgers, no matter how simple the gift and it is not about commercialism, but about enjoyment of treats,love for children and family.
    Christmas is celebrated more traditionally with focus on tge meaning of Christmas, and family.
    Regardless of what he called, St Nicholas existed, he waa real, to little children who had Nothing and were poor, he was ‘magic’ because he brought happiness through his gifts, he was a Man not a woman, he was a of Greek descent so he was white or possibly olive skinned… Stinterklaas was also ‘real’ and the 2 were men who rewarded good and kind children and did not reward naughty ones. Both were around the 5th/6th Dec.
    It is not respect for ‘kiwi’ traditions or ethnicities or
    skin colour – it is about the gift of giving.
    Father Christmas (St Nicholas) cared about the health, welfare and happiness of children, particularly of poorer families. This is why we now have traditions of gift giving – as well as to recognise the “gifts” that were given when Jesus was born – precious gifts for the new life, that would bring hope faith trust and love. There cannot always be a European looking Sinterklaas, St Nicholas or Santa, countries do like to depict the real one and frankly to be arguing about the eligibility of who can/can’t depict St Nick adequately, people should focus more on the real story and why he gave to strangers and the poor, Why giving made him happy… to give of one’s selfless self is more important than to receive – giving selflessly, enjoying in your heart, seeing your gifts bring happiness, that is what giving is about and, it does not need to be expensive or big, it should always be given with love, selflessness and thoughtfulness and Never with expectation of something in return! … that is lost on many people these days.

    • greywarshark 20.1

      Santa Claus represents something good to most people and especially important to those with children. They want to bring their children up in a community with kindness, hope, support and times of fun. I’m a Leftie Too recognise that and has written a long comment explaining the importance of the Santa ritual and the good that it carries with it.

      I suggest that good things and happy families are under threat in NZ and other ‘advanced’ countries. Why would you not support Santa parades and gift giving Muttonbird and other smarty miseryguts? Sneering at something people like to do, getting dressed up, putting funny hats on, carrying forward old traditions into the future, is being talked down dismissively and is so condescending and superior.

      Some of the people who come to this blog thinking they are left, well they seem to have ‘left behind’ that reality if they ever had it, their connection to the togetherness of a healthy, kind, supporting community that enjoys its joyful rituals.

    • solkta 20.2

      Gift giving was part of Winter Solstice celebrations a long time before Jesus and St Nick.

  21. Matiri 21

    What a soap opera! The original Santa pulled out because he got in trouble with his Confederate flag/beer cans float at the Richmond parade. And the replacement Santa took his hat off because he was too hot. It’s all happening in Nelson…..

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/377395/it-all-went-sour-when-santa-removed-his-hat-director

  22. Muttonbird 22

    It is very amusing to find the conservative rabid right are so easily triggered about a children’s construct.

    It’s like they all still believe.

  23. Paul Campbell 23

    I think it’s time for a “parade of santas” in every town, sort of a kiwi homegrown mulicultural santarchy, we want māori santas, pacifica santas, asian santas of all kinds, female santas, male santas, gay santas, lesbian santas, straight santas, trans santas, old santas, young santas, christian santas, athiest santas, muslim santas, hindu santas, jewish santas, lefty santas, righty santas (but maybe not nazi ones though) ….

    I’ll be the oldish white santa in the back with the genuine almost-white beard, red shorts and sandals

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