Anna Arco's Diary

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Tell children the truth about Christmas presents

Parents should tell their children the truth about Christmas presents, a German theologian has said, in order to avoid associating religion with untruth.

Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Michael Schnabel, an academic at the Institute of Early Paedagogy suggests that parents tell their children that Christmas presents are gifts from parents, not from the Christkind (Christ Child) who traditionally brings German children their gifts instead of Father Christmas or Santa Claus.

He warned: “Religion must not be connected to deciet and lies. We tell children that the Christkind brings the presents. But children should know that this is a game.”

Schnabel, a Catholic with an academic background in education and theology, believes that telling sproglets the tale of the Christkind–even if it is a symbol for Christ’s birth can bring huge difficulties for parents. The “maerchen” or fairytale brings new problems which lead parents to swampy dead-ends, he said.

He also criticised the tradition of St Nicholas bringing naughty children a switch on the eve of December 6, comparable to Father Christmas putting coal in misbehaving children’s stockings.

“Religious things,” he said, “should not be associated with punishments” or disciplinary measures that parents were incapable of handing out themselves.

Written by annaarco

December 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

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