Sunday, 15 November 2009

Spreading a little Christmas cheer on St James's Street

Regular readers of this 'blog will know that I believe many of the problems we face, the world over, from climate change and war to poverty and inequality, are caused by religion and commercialism.

So you might be surprised (if you're kind) - or think me a hypocrite - to read that I spent much of yesterday dressed as Santa Claus selling 'gifts' at a church Christmas bazaar.

But I agreed to dress up as the big man because I thought doing so would be an opportunity to bring some smiles to St James's Street - and that saying no certainly wasn't likely to either reduce commercialism or religious fervour, either here in Kemp Town or anywhere else.

And so it proved: trade at the Dorset Gardens Methodist Church wasn't that brisk, but almost all the children who came in made a beeline to my corner of the hall. They left with a smile, a photo - and a little Christmas magic on a stormy and otherwise depressing November day.

You could argue that the very presence of a man dressed in a Santa suit charging cash for 'gifts' in Brighton six weeks before Christmas merely provides evidence that the whole story is a myth so it would have been hypocritical NOT to have accepted the invitation! Discuss...

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