Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Let's put myth of Santa to rest

I read with incredulity John Roger's letter (Write Back, December 17) bemoaning the growing number of people who downplay the importance of Santa Claus at Christmas.

Actually, St Nicholas' feast day (upon whom 'Santa' is based) is December 6 in ecclesiastical tradition - not December 25, the date set in most of Christendom for the birth of Jesus.

The two are separate occasions. Nevertheless, Christmas, as it has become known, is now deeply entrenched in our western perception, for religious reasons or not.

It seems illogical to maintain celebrating a day that most modern theologians would readily agree is not Jesus' birth date at all.

December 25 originates from pagan winter feast days and practices that were abhorrent to the early church.

Why deceive our children with fables which not only detract from the unique story of the Nativity, but must make them wonder if the Virgin Birth and the angels' message are also just a fairy story?

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor

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