America should keep its Santa Claus. We have our Baby Jesus – more and more Czechs are adopting this motto. A group of local copywriters have yet again this year declared war on the American symbol of Christmas. They are planning an anti-Santa parade, which will involve throwing Santa Claus into a dustbin.
“Anyone, who is angered by Santa’s red colour like a bull in an arena can take part in the parade,” says Petr Voborný, the chair of the Creative Copywriters Club (CCC), adding that Santa in the dustbin will be loaded onto a car and taken out of the country.
The CCC has been fighting against Santa Claus for two years now. It has even launched a website where it protests against his infiltration into Czech culture.
Members of the CCC say the impulse for the creation of the Anti-Santa movement was a children’s book in which a white-bearded creature in red clothes was called Baby Jesus. At a time when the face of this plump, jolly bearded man in a red and white coat is smiling in the shop windows of many Czech stores, the club members want to return Christmas to Baby Jesus.
After last year’s Christmas, they even announced a Zarach price awarded for the biggest incomprehension of Czech Christmas traditions. The winner was the Prague shopping centre Chodov. During the last year’s Christmas hustle, visitors to the centre could take a picture of their children sitting on the lap of Santa Claus in the tradition of American shopping malls – for “only” CZK 250.
“We are glad that those who were awarded the Zarach prize in the past years have returned to old traditions. Every year we see real results of our efforts,” says Pavel Sobek from CCC. For example Prague’s shopping centre in Letňany, which was also awarded the anti-prize because of its decorations of Santas playing saxophones, went back to the traditional Czech decorations on last year’s Christmas.
Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.