I find it surprising how Santa was so successful at eclipsing Jesus in his home turf: Christmas. This is not the case everywhere but very widespread. To understand how strong the displacement has been, think of how many Christmas movies have Jesus as their main character vs all the ones that have Santa. Inadvertently replacing the protagonist made Christmas more palatable for Atheists, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and all other non Christians to celebrate. I guess Santa broadened the market and simplified/commercialized the message: if you’ve been a good child you get a gift, end of story. This got private enterprise behind Santa and the church somehow lost terrain. It also made it possible for non Christians not to antagonize their own children and celebrate a Christmas that was not only for Christians anymore, which made non Christian children very happy.
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