Saturday 19 December 2015

Father Zbigniew Kowalczyk's blunder

IIn a village in Italy, Father Zbigniew Kowalczyk explained to childeren the difference between Jesus Christ and Father Christmas. Somehow, the children got the idea that Father Christmas doesn't exist, and the parents are angry.

As well they might be.

Father Kowalczyk is wrong. There is no difference between Jesus Christ and Father Christmas. Both of them are imaginary friends based on the possible existence of real people; both of them know if you're naughty or nice, and both of them reward niceness and penalise naughtyness.

I think that telling children about Father Christmas is actually a good and important idea. It's right that very small children should believe and obey their parents - they won't survive if they don't. There are all sorts of ways you can get badly hurt in this world; cars, electricity and fire for example. But as children get older, it's even more important that they gradually learn to think for themselves, and there must come a day when they leave home, and cannot rely on their parents for all guidance.

At the time when children begin to suspect that Father Christmas isn't real, they come to realise that their parents aren't entirely straight with them about certain important things, and just as one invisible friend turns out to be fake, so do others. It's the beginning of thinking for yourself, and realising that not everything that adults tell you is true.


  1. Meanwhile... 'the province of Lower Austria is sponsoring a campaign to encourage children to believe in the Christ Child - instead of Santa.' :)

  2. As imaginary friends go, Santa has a better track record when it comes to presents.