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.