Page 13, 4th March 2005

4th March 2005
Page 13
Page 13, 4th March 2005 — OLD NICK

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How not to show respect

Residents of Demre in Turkey are proud that St Nicholas – the original Santa Claus – hailed from their region. So they are understandably miffed that the local authority has removed a statue of the saint holding a Bible and replaced it with... a plastic Santa.

To be fair, we may be dealing with a case of ignorance rather than deliberate malice. Non-Christians often find it difficult to grasp the precise significance of Father Christmas.

A few years ago, a Japanese department store decided to mark Christmas by displaying a figure of Santa in its window. But then, remembering that this was a religious feast, staff decided to show proper respect. So what did they do? They nailed Santa to a cross.

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