December 5, 2007

Joyous St. Nicholas Day!

Happy St. Nicholas Day.

Shalom, From ASLaN

(image from Der Nikolaus)

Anti-Claus Contest Submission Guidelines

All you artists and photographers who have had it with Santa, go HERE to see the submission guidelines and great examples of previous anti-Claus artwork.

Great pictures like the one above, from Robert Cenedella, will be the kind of quality that we are looking for in submissions.

You can buy a print of this infamous 1989 painting at Mr. Cendella's website.

Anti-Claus Art Contest Launched
On St. Nicholas Day

ASLaN announced the launching of the First Annual Anti-Claus Art and Photo Competition today. Here are excerpts from the Press Release:

December 6, AD 2007 -- 198 years to-the-day from when Washington Irving began the Americanization of St. Nicholas, the International ASLaN Society has launched an art competition that hopes to eventually knock Santa Claus from his cultural throne.

"We are calling on artists who are seriously sarcastic or sick of the Santamania that breaks out each year to step up and join the resistance in the War on Santa," said Walter Skold, the founder of the Anti-Santa Love Nicholas Society.

"Here is your chance to be the Thomas Nast of the growing anti-Claus movement," he said, referring to the 19th Century German-American illustrator "whose work helped to convert St. Nicholas from a saint into someone who is now a fat red huckster from Hollywood."

It was almost 200 years ago that Washington Irving created so many of the modern myths associated with the Americanized Santa Claus, when he published Knickerbocker's History of New York, on St. Nicholas Day in 1809.

Submission details and examples of global anti-claus artwork can be found at

December 3, 2007

"I Killed Jesus" Xmas Card

For $30.00 you can buy a signed lithograph by Darren Cullen, the young atheist and anti-capitalist artist whose work was met with censorship in Scotland (See previous post).

Of course, since one of ASLaN's goals is to promote worship of the joyous Christ of the Nativity, we take issue with some of young Darren's sentiments. But, he does share ASLaN goal #1, which is derision and criticism of the Santa Cult.

He write on the website where you can buy his artwork:
“In these abundant and godless times of ours - Santa Claus fills the hole in our calendar once used to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The 'Son of God' is little more than a footnote in this annual festival of greed. Not that I think we should all go to church and beg forgiveness; as an atheist and an anti-capitalist I believe both can go (Bleep). What I find interesting is the competition between these two gods and the way Western 'Christian' society still manages to maintain belief in one while being openly, orgasmically seduced by the other. Stroll around any of the urban hubs of our civilisation at Christmas and you will be bombarded with flashing signs, LCD screens and billboards declaring the glorious message of our times: Jesus is dead! Long live Santa!”
Darren Cullen, 2006.

Anti-Santa Artwork Censored

OK, this story is two years old, but it is worth repeating, as this kind of thing happens to people who dare to challenge the Santa Industry.

An art student in Glasgow, Scotland, had his ad pulled because the message did not sit well with others.

Darren Cullen said:
Santa Claus is a lie that teaches kids that products will make them happy.

"Before they're old enough to think for themselves, the story of Santa has already got them hooked on consumerism.

"I think that's more immoral than this billboard."

The environmental art undergraduate said his work is influenced by a four-year stint on advertising courses in Leeds, his home city, and Glasgow.

Whoa, here is a great ASLaN quote from this young artist, now 24:

"But when those consumers were children, instead of Christmas being a celebration of Jesus, who was quite a vocal opponent of materialism and, therefore, a rubbish spokesman for Christmas - they were told about Santa Claus and all the amazing shiny products he was going to bring them, all for free.""But when those consumers were children, instead of Christmas being a celebration of Jesus, who was quite a vocal opponent of materialism and, therefore, a rubbish spokesman for Christmas - they were told about Santa Claus and all the amazing shiny products he was going to bring them, all for free."

St. Nicholas is Coming Soon

As December 6th approaches, more and more news stories are describing how St. Nicholas is coming to churches and community gatherings all over the US -- and the world!

We'll update this page as the happy Feast Day approaches.

South Bend, IN
Oshkosh, Wisc.

Advent St. Nicholas Prayer

For those of you so inclined (the agnostic and/or non-Christian members of ASLaN have other traditions at this season of Light), the good folks over at the St. Nicholas Society, in the UK, have posted this very nice little Advent prayer:

Good St Nicholas,

Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus.

Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready.

Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer.

Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers' fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to be kind and generous of heart to all, especially those who are alone, financial poor and fearful.

May our celebration of your feast lead others to see the true meaning f giving and receiving and to guide all people to

The greatest of all gifts, even Jesus Christ, prince of peace and child of Mary, Our Lord and only saviour.


Santa Horror Show (i.e. Czech ads)

You want to know why more and more people are tired of Santa, as a symbol of the season of God's love and midwinter feasts?

This picture is just one of many from the website, coming to you from the Czech Republic. There you will see a growing list of pictures of how marketing execs are using (and abusing) the image of Santa to sell people things.

I hate to sound like a whining extreme leftist (I am not), but this pushing of Santa Claus is a type of cultural imperialism and a shocking betrayal of a nation's own values and traditions. We in American cannot quite understand the horror of Santa replacing either St. Nicholas, or in the case of Czechs, Baby Jesus, with the plastic, fat, Santa being plastered all over so many products, like a coat of ugly red paint.

December 2, 2007

2008 Christmas Essay published in Maine paper

Thanks to the editors of the Sun Journal, in Lewiston, Maine, for publishing ASLaN's 2008 Christmas Essay.

It is a specially-edited version of the original essay, which Sint Knicker wrote to further the public debate, and we appreciate a newspaper that fosters such debate.

If you are wondering what the "blue thing" is that is lodged in Belschnickle's lovely white belt, it happens to be a Shofar.

Time to blow the Trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm: Santa's days are numbered, his writing is on the wall, his kingdom is not an everlasting one, and his lies will be exposed before all men!

The problem is: they are such nice lies! They are so warm, and sentimental, and smoothed over with a goodness that seems natural and pure. Like any good lie worth its pepper, the doctrines of the modern American Santa reflect the humanism of the cultural and artistic elites who continue to promote the feel-good Santa.

*The photograph appeared in the Sun Journal, with no name. Thanks to the person who shot it; the copyright belongs to you (actually, the Sun Journal)

St. Nicholas: A to Z

Just a webliographic reminder as we enter the 2007 AD Advent Season:

The St. Nicholas Center is by far the best online resource for all things Nicholas.

They have history, pictures, kid's activities, and tons more pictures. It is truly an amazing website and ASLaN wishes the men and women of the Center a fantastic St. Nicholas Day, which is coming up very soon indeed.

Sankt Niklaus Lives!

From the Post-Bulletin, in MN:

As Father Nicholas Kasemeotes gestured toward the iconography on the sanctuary wall of Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church, a slight smile crossed his face when he came to the image of a bearded old man in a robe.

"This is St. Nicholas," he said.

Except for the white whiskers, there is little in the image that would make one associate this 4th century bishop with his contemporary incarnation as ol' St. Nick -- or Santa Claus. Unlike the plump, jolly old elf, the saint's figure is lean, almost gaunt. Instead of a red suit and red stocking cap, he is clothed in liturgical vestments, complete with a mitre on his head. And in his hands, he carries not a bag of toys, but the scriptures.

"He was a very powerful figure in the life of the church," Kasemeotes said.

Happy Advent!

ASLaN wishes all a very, very joyous Advent.

Our world is filled with sorrow upon sorrow,
yet joy comes like the dew on the grass.
The birth of Jesus still brings Light --
O may we all receive Him!

ASLaN has a page of Christmas poems and links to literature ppropriate for this holy season.

December 1, 2007

Belschnickle Visits LL BEAN

Belschnickle paid a friendly visit to Freeport, Maine today.

He went to confront the large, blow-up Santa on Main St., but the brisk wind had already knocked the fat bag of air down.

Sounds like a story of Samson, right out of holy Writ! Dagon, the pagan god, knocked right over in his own temple!

Canadian Meets Little Sinterklaas

Time prevents us from making any theological comments, on the supposed essence of Christmas, but here is an excerpt from a Canadian woman who encountered Sinterklaas "in the flesh" this year. From Radio Netherlands:

But the best part was meeting three-year-old Riley. Wearing a costume made by his mother, he was the most perfect little Sint I could imagine. When I asked him what the best part of the parade was, he told me - with wide-eyed honesty - that The Real Sinterklaas had shaken his hand.

For me it doesn't matter that he's a Dutch boy celebrating Sinterklaas and I'm a Canadian girl fondly remembering Santa Claus, Riley was the essence of the Christmas spirit: childhood innocence, absolute faith, and simple joy.

Sinterklaas vs. Santa in Holland

Lousewies van der Laan, a former MP in Holland writes about the war over Xmas in Holland:

Yes, as the festive season descends upon us, even in the Netherlands we have political debates about Sinterklaas (the bearded bishop you see sold in chocolate in your local supermarket).

It's not along the American lines of replacing the Christian-centred "Merry Christmas" with the more neutral "Season's Greetings". No, it is a full-fledged economic and cultural battle between our great traditional Sinterklaas and that tacky American Santa.

Purists will point out that whereas Christmas has descended into a competitive "my-gift-is-more-expensive-than-yours" feast, gifts from Sinterklaas are truly anonymous and as such more in the true spirit of giving.

In addition, a poem is often included, which allows for mild reprimands, which the Calvinist Dutch adore. Finally, there is the "surprise" (pronounced sur-pree-za) whereby you do something artistic like wrap your present up to resemble something different or organise a trail with hints through the house. All much more industrious and creative than having Macy's wrap it for you."

11% of Dutch Believe Santa in Bible

Oivee.... 28 November 2007

AMSTERDAM – More than 11 percent of the Dutch believes that Santa Claus is a character from the Bible. This emerged on Wednesday from a poll of 2,700 people by website