November 30, 2007

Boston Globe Confirms:
Santa an Obese Glutton

We at ASLaN told you so.
Santa is an obese glutton, full of several, if not all, of the deadly sins.

The Boston Globe has just confirmed this in a story on obesity.
Seems like a top doc in MASS. said it would do us all very good if Santa slimmed down. He is setting a bad example for kids, it turns out.

Well, no Ho Ho, what did one of the local fake Santas have to say about that?
“It would cripple the image of Santa if they were to take his weight away,” said Santa Jim Manning, owner of South End-based
What he really means is that it would cripple the profits of the Santa scam.

Calling all Santaconabulists

Calling all Santacon Artists!
(That's not con artists)

Raise up your pens, cameras, & brushes
in toast of the spirit of anti-Claus
and send ASLaN your entries!

You could win $50.00 bucks
& the praise
of art critics everywhere.

All entrants will automatically win
membership into AOTAC:
The Amalgamated Order of the Anti-Claus.

Anti-Claus Art Competion Launched

The 2008

Anti-Claus Art & Photo Competition

has been launched in this happy Advent Season.

All you artists, admen, and photographers -- grab your swords
and raise your pens and brushes in the War on Santa!

Entry details, along with examples, are here...

2008 Resist Santa Campaign Launched

-- In conjunction with the 15th annual Buy Nothing Day, the International Anti-Santa Love Nicholas Society launched its 2008 "Resist Santa Campaign" today.

"ASLaN is pleased to join with activists from around the globe who are resisting the Santa racket and protesting the spiritual obesity of "The Claus," said Sinter Knicker, ASLaN's founder.

The campaign began on Buy Nothing Day with the appearance of "Belschnickle" at the Portland, Maine Christmas tree lighting ceremony,
and with the release of the 2007 ASLaN Christmas Essay, "Just Say No to the Ho Ho Ho."

Belschnickle was one of the helpers of Saint Nicholas in German folklore, whose tradition was brought to Pennsylvania with immigrants but whose existence was eventually obliterated by the American Santa.

Knicker said Belschnickle is scheduled to make other appearances in Auburn and Freeport in order "To silently protest the obscenity that poor St. Nicholas has morphed into in our crazy culture."

Read the rest of the Press Release


He’s calling on children to bless the poor
And calling on children to follow the Lord!
He’s calling on parents to open their Doors
And let St. Nicholas enter once more!

He’s calling for justice and calling for prayer
And calling for people to wake up and care
For the orphans with AIDS who live in despair
And Darfurians murdered by laissez faire.

He’s warning all people entrapped by the snare
Of a misfit who lies, and who leads them to err
In the service of Mammon, the great Grizzly Bear
Who drags off his victims to Beelzebub’s lair.

He’s calling on those who flock to the store
To break their addictions and lustings for more;
He’s calling for peace, and he’s calling for war—
For he’s calling out Santa for being a whore!



November 19, 2007


Check out this awesome catalogue of

And even better than the items there, Saint Nicholas of Myra would like remind all children that the best things pertaining to LIFE are indeed FREE!

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!"
And let him who hears say, "Come!"
Whoever is thirsty, let him come;
and whoever wishes,
let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Jesus Christ, as told to the Apostle John

November 17, 2007

Santa & The Czechs

Of course not all Czechs feel this way about the US import, Santa, but it is heartening to see the resistance growing. And we don't need St. Nicholas coming along to raise the dead Santa either.

November 14, 2007

Ho Ho!

According to the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Santas across Australia are rebelling against attempts to change their saying to a more politically correct, "ha, ha, ha."

It all started when the recruitment firm Westaff – which has offices both in the United States and Australia – told its Christmas trainees that the "ho, ho, ho" phrase could frighten children and possibly be derogatory to women.

The directions have prompted some Santa trainees to quit the program.

One told the Daily Telegraph he was taught not to use "ho, ho, ho" because it was too close to the American slang for prostitute.

"Gimme a break," said Julie Gale, head of the campaign against sexualizing children called Kids Free 2B Kids. "We are talking about little kids who do not understand that 'ho, ho, ho' has any other connotation and nor should they. Leave Santa alone."

On the Contrary:



November 10, 2007

OK, Not Really "Buy Nothing":
But Certainly Less

(They want you to click the banner)

The advocates of the Buy Nothing Christmas campaign have a provocative slogan, but it is not meant to be taken literally. Their press release from 2006 explains this.
Despite the name, the Buy Nothing Christmas campaign is not really about refusing to spend a dime over the holiday season. It’s about taking a deep breath and deciding to opt out of the hype, the overcrowded malls, and the stressful to-do lists. It’s about reminding ourselves to really think about what we are buying, why we are buying it, and whether we really need it at all.
It is more like a "Buy Less" campaign. For ASLaN, it isn't the giving of gifts to family, friends, and the needy that is so seedy, it is the Cult of Santa that has grown up around the message that St. Nicholas preached, and how that has entangled so many people in such a web of lies, guilt, and marketing hits.

Canadian Mennonites Answer WWJB?
Buy Nothing Christmas O7

A group of crazy Mennonites (I mean, anyone who advocates less shopping during Advent must be crazy, right?) has this excellent "Buy Nothing Christmas 07" campaign going in Canada. Perhaps it will spread to the USA, and around the world?

There is a free information kit to find out more how you and yours can join the resistance!

What Would Sinterklass Buy?

What Would Sinterklass Buy?

Not sure, but given his original message of helping the poor and not living in luxury, and his policy of being frank and honest and compassionate with sinful children, he would certainly have a very large supply of coal in his bag if he came to my city.

The ever-excellent Saint Nicholas Center has a page on Sinterklaas.

What Would Jesus Buy?

What Would Jesus Buy?

Hmmmm, is that billion dollar question, or what?

He has already bought, at the greatest price paid ever, the redeemed.

As God the Son, He is not in need of something to buy.

As Man, the Son and Mediator, He had wants on Earth, which Mary and Joseph provided for. Not sure there was a WallMart near Nazareth, though?

He has taken up our human nature, and lives through his Body, on Earth now. We are the ones doing the shopping and giving. Do those who follow Him (and not all supporters of ASLaN profess to follow Him) honor Him in their shopping and giving?

Advent is a good time for reflection on this question.

ASLA Gear for EX-MAS

The Anti-Santa Liberation Army
has all your anti-Santa needs,
like this button.

They have shirts and mugs, etc.

GREAT for the Anti-Santa in your life!

November 8, 2007

Buy Nothing Christmas, 2006

The Buy Nothing Xmas 2006 Press Release has some ASLaN-approved sanities:


RECLAIMING THE SEASON: Those of us who shiver at the thought of hour-long line-ups and $5 gift tags finally have something to rejoice about over the holidays: fed-up citizens and social activists from across the world are inviting everyone to take part in Buy Nothing Christmas.

Inspired by the international successes of Buy Nothing Day, and disgusted with the personal debt, spiritual emptiness, and ecological damage that the holiday season now entails, writers and activists began to heavily promote the idea of a downshifted Christmas in the late nineties. Since then, the idea has been taken up by individuals, community groups, churches, and schools in at least a dozen countries, with strongest support in Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Despite the name, the Buy Nothing Christmas campaign is not really about refusing to spend a dime over the holiday season. It’s about taking a deep breath and deciding to opt out of the hype, the overcrowded malls, and the stressful to-do lists. It’s about reminding ourselves to really think about what we are buying, why we are buying it, and whether we really need it at all.

“First and foremost, it’s about restoring authenticity to one the world’s great religious and secular traditions,” said Kalle Lasn, editor-in-chief of Adbusters magazine and long-time advocate of holiday restraint. “Christmas has been warped beyond recognition by commercial forces. It’s about time we took it back.”

There is more, but that is the core.

Join the Buy Nothing Day Campaign

(November 23 in the USA and Canada, November 24 internationally)
STOP SHOPPING TO GO GREEN, says a press release from the Buy Nothing Day Campaign:

This November, environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in as many as 65 countries will hit the streets for a 24-hour consumer fast in celebration of the 15th annual Buy Nothing Day, a global cultural phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada.

Featured in recent years by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, Wired, the BBC, USA Today, The Age and the CBC, the international event has been gaining mainstream momentum as the climate crisis drives average people to seek out greener alternatives to unrestrained consumption.

Timed to coincide with one of the busiest shopping days on the US retail calendar, as well as the unofficial start of the international holiday-shopping season, Buy Nothing Day has taken many shapes, from relaxed family outings, to free, non-commercial street parties, to politically charged public protests. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending.

Read more.

Here Comes Anti-Claus,
Here Comes Anti-Claus...


Be on the lookout for a special announcement
about our 2007 RESIST SANTA Campaign.

November 6, 2007

Santa Drunk Again: in Prague

ASLaN's friends in the Czech Republic realize the same connection between Santa and drinking that the adverts at White Rock did.

The growing international resistance to "The Claws" can be seen in the unique, controversial, and clever pictures that these Czech admen have assembled.

There is one in there from Sinter Knicker too. Look for Mao....

Santa Claus: A Biography

Here is the cover of the ASLaN-approved book by the Santa/Xmas scholar, Gerry Bowler.

More, from a chapter insert, on how Coke changed and solidifed the Santa mirage for millions of Americans:

"Sundblom's genius in his decades of work for Coca-Cola was not that he added anything to our knowledge of Santa Claus but that he made a familiar image even more likeable and widespread. Sundblom's vision of the gift-bringer emphasized lavishness and self-indulgence. In the middle of the Depression, he scorned the meagre street-corner and department-store Santas to produce one who was the roliest-poliest yet, clad in an abundance of furs, with a jaunty angle to his white moustache, and a penchant for raiding other people's refrigerators."

Coke STOLE Santa Marketing Idea

As this page from the White Rock Collectors Association clearly shows, Coca-Cola stole the idea for using a big, red Santa for marketing.

Unless another company wants to claim first dibbs, it looks like White Rock was the first major beverage Co. to use Santa for selling sugar and sweets to American consumers.

See the very interesting page for other B&W and color advertising examples.

Gerry Bowler, the Santa and Christmas scholar from Manitoba, put these words into the mouth of Santa for a Dec 23, 2005 Q&A with Macleans magazine, in Canada.

I'm told you once did a campaign with Coca-Cola, before my time, that was a particular hit. In fact, it's a legend in the marketing industry. Can you tell me about it?
Sure. In the 1920s Coke was undergoing a lot of attacks from the Women's Christian Temperance Union -- very curiously, they didn't like all that caffeine -- and there was a U.S. senator who claimed that Coca-Cola caused sterility in women and affected brain power. So Coca-Cola was looking around for something to brighten up its image, to make it more wholesome, less medicinal, and something that would encourage soft-drink consumption during the winter. The company hired a commercial artist, Haddon Sundblom, who did magnificent paintings from the '30s to the '60s. He really captured my expansiveness, the richness of my furs, my folds of fat, my jollity. Those ads are interesting because they portray Santa not only as a deliverer of goods but actually as a consumer. If you look at those ads, I'm always portrayed going through somebody else's refrigerator, you know, or playing with their toys.
Gerry Bowler also goes on to say in an excerpt from his book, "Santa Claus, A Biography",

"It is far too frequently believed that Sundblom's work for Coca-Cola created the familiar red-and-white-clad Santa of the modern era. In fact, the Coke Santa was in no way groundbreaking; illustrators for the Saturday Evening Post such as J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell had already helped fix the standard Santa in the public's mind.* Nor was the Atlanta company even the first purveyor of soda to use the gift-bringer in its ads. That honour belongs to the White Rock Natural Mineral Spring Company of Waukeshar, Wisconsin, which advertised mineral water and ginger ale in Life magazine in 1923 and 1924. Two full-page ads show a portly Santa Claus, reading letters and delivering presents, with a bottle of White Rock and (despite Prohibition) a whisky bottle close at hand..."

Santa, Whiskey & White Rock

.White Rock had ole' un-Saint Nick as an alcoholic even before Coke used the American icon as an image to sell soda.

As the next post will relay, Coke stole the image from White Rock beverages. Figures: since Clement Moore stole the original St. Nick poem, by claiming authorship when he was not, so too most folks think Coke originated the fat, red, Santa that has so infested the world.

November 4, 2007

Santa & The Little Red Book
An ASLaN Photo Exhibit

ASLaN is please to present an photography exhibit By our founder, Sinter Knicker.

It is divided into:
Red Christmas;
Icons; and
Happy Holiday from the Chairman

"The Santa Industry" Part II

.This illustration is so excellent that I wanted to highlight it in a single blog.

Great job Gillian Macleod, who drew the fantastic piece for The Coast. Her artwork and photography can be enjoyed at her website

The Santa Industry: Part 1
Confession of a Mall Santa Manager

If ASLaN had come across this wonderful article last Advent, we would have given the author our 2006 ASLaN Award for best original article. Megan Wennberg is the author of this must-read article for anyone looking into the Mall Santa business. She is a professional photographer and writer and is also the writer for the movie Santa Inc: Where Greed Meets Giving," which we blogged about recently.

Here are some excerpts from "The Santa Industry," but the whole is worth reading. We are trying to secure copyright permission to post the whole article on our website.

Every year, millions of children line up in malls across the continent to sit with a fat man in a red suit. It’s a bizarre ritual, this annual pilgrimage to hand our children over to appropriately attired strangers in the hopes they’ll smile while the moment is photographed. The weirdness is compounded by the fact that many of these scenes are played out on the turf of a small number of companies created with the express purpose of profiting from the emotional baggage of the season...

It was surreal to witness the Santa machine laid bare, systematically exposed in all its component parts. Every aspect of Cherry Hill’s Santa photo business is meticulously planned, from how to file daily reports, make bank deposits and treat customers, to what Santa’s helpers should wear, how to display merchandise and what to look for when hiring Santa Clauses...

...We are accosted by hundreds of Santa clones every year as they ho-ho-ho at us from posters, greeting cards, billboards and TV commercials in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This image of Santa Claus sells and hiring the most saleable Santa means gaining an edge over the competition...

Santa’s mall oasis of Christmas decorations and photo packages wasn’t always the happiest place at the shopping centre, but excited kids generally outnumbered those in distress and it was touching to witness instances of pure, joyful belief as a child encountered her bearded hero for the first time. For parents, these moments transcended the crush of frantic shoppers, parking-lot rage and the incessant blaring of carols they had been forced to overcome to attain them. For others, the liquor and drug stores were only metres away...

...I experienced my first Christmas hangover when I was seven years old. It had nothing to do with alcohol. It’s the feeling I got after I’d opened all my presents and sat surrounded by them, knowing I should be ecstatic but instead feeling hollow with disappointment. The mood seemed totally unreasonable and my sense of melancholy was compounded by guilt.

I now understand the hangover as a natural outcome of the tremendous emotional build-up to Christmas. To a child, Christmas is the ultimate holiday, complete with theme music, a parade, candy, decorations and a full day of unwrapping presents delivered by a magic flying elf. It’s no wonder that by the time Christmas morning dawned, I was so wired on impossible expectations reality couldn’t help but fall short."

She has a reflective ending (but I am probably already over copyright restrictions with this excerpt), so go ahead and read the original at The Coast.

November 3, 2007

The BBC on Santa

The BBC has an archive of excellent videos about Santa Claus (Father Xmas).

They also have an extensive archive of news stories and features related to the bearded anti-saint.

ASLan will highlight a few of them in the coming Advent season.

Motorola Spreads the Santamania
Santa in China #3

Motorola is selling phones and other gadgets this year with a hearty, Western, big fat red Santa fellow.

You can watch the video of the Motorola sales schpiel online.

Dancing Santesses on Ice
Santa In China, #2

More dancing Santesses from this website in China.

The date looks like 2006-12-24 08:04:16.0.

Anyone who can read Chinese is free to post some translations in the comments section.

Shenyang "Santa"
Santa In China, pt.1

This is the first post in an ongoing series on "Santa in China: Foreign Devils, Delicious Exports, and Cultural Revolutions."

The International ASLaN Society was founded in Northern China, in 1995, in a Province not far from the great city of Shenyang, where this picture was taken. At that time, as our research will show, the beginnings of the International Santa Cult were just beginning to come public in China (apart from the zillions of Santa-related products which were being manufactured there in factories).

In this picture, a lovely Santess is swimming in water so cold that it would permanently damage any male Santa's ability to have offspring. People in Northern China love to jump into the icy waters, a spectacle I saw once, but did not dare follow.

New Documentary "Santa Inc"

.A new documentary film "Santa Inc.: Where Giving Meet Greed",
is set to be released soon, though the date is not yet announced.

You can view a trailer of the movie here. The clip is an excellent synopsis of the main themes.

It looks like a GREAT film that is sure to raise a much-needed rational discussion about the excesses of the Santa Cult. It is very well-balanced, and gives the views of pro-Santa folks fairly.

Here is the publicity info from Tell Tale Productions:

Santa, Inc. will explore the myth, the man and the multi-million dollar industry that is Santa Claus. Who is he? What does he mean to children, to adults, to consumers? In an age when Christmas is for sale earlier and earlier every year, what does it mean that Santa Claus is touted as the secular God of love and giving while simultaneously serving as the poster boy for the biggest sales event of the year?

Award winning writer and former mall Santa manager Megan Wennberg will take viewers behind the beards of a variety of Santas to expose the multiple personalities of this cultural and commercial icon. She’ll introduce viewers to aspiring Santas Dave and Floyd. Both men have one year's experience playing the Big Guy under their belts, and they’re hoping to get a jump on the competition by attending Santa School in Calgary with Canada’s Top Santa, Victor Nevada.

We’ll also meet Frank, James and Susan. These rebel Santas call themselves ‘Santarchists,’ and are determined to free Santa from the shackles of goodness, and bring him over to the naughty side once and for all by attending the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.

Santa, Inc. will also gain the perspective of marketing guru William Arruda on why Santa is the perfect brand, confront the CEO of the largest employer of shopping mall Santa’s in the world regarding their racist hiring practices, visit the village in Finnish Lapland that claims to be Santa’s real home, and finally, go to the place where Christmas is really made: factories in China.

At a time of year when strangers alternately wish each other well and trample each other to get the latest discount gadget, Santa’s throne straddles the divide between magical Christmas Spirit and the crazed greed of consumerism. Santa, Inc. will tread that line in seeking to answer this simple question: Has Santa sold out, or can he be redeemed?

©2006 Tell Tale Productions Inc.