Germans Worry Santa Claus Is Killing Father Christmas


Somebody call Fox News and make sure Megyn Kelly is sitting down, because the Germans have a bone to pick with Santa Claus, too.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the director of Rothenburg’s German Christmas Museum says the German tradition of Father Christmas is “under threat” thanks to the ubiquity of America’s inescapable Santa Claus. Even Germans don’t know the difference any more, she complains.

So the museum has petitioned to have Father Christmas—as well as his religious inspiration, the Greek Saint Nicholas—added to Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage list. (Already on the list: falconry, Chinese shadow puppetry and “Shrimp fishing on horseback in Oostduinkerke.”)

If it sounds like six of one, half dozen of the other, the museum’s director says, “German Father Christmas, or ‘Weihnachtsmann,’ was invented as a secular figure after the Reformation when Protestants spurned saint worship and sought an alternative gift-giver to the sacred Nicholas with his bishop’s mitre and crook.” Santa Claus, on the other hand, is a nineteenth century American derivation, shaped by the illustrations of Thomas Nast and Coca-Cola ads.

SantaCon was the last straw, wasn’t it?

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