The Christmas season brought unexpected tidings of Great Joy to the happy Hellfire Household this year. For I had at last been given permission to kill off Santa Claus by the Mother of my Childe. No more lies. No more pretending. No more suspension of disbelief for public consumption. It was over, and I for one was glad.

I only agreed to participate in the charade in the first place out of a vague sense of guilt, a misplaced desire that my daughter should have all the benefits of a “normal” childhood and be able to blend in with her peers. As we live in a house where there’s funeral services for cats, and chickens roost on the computer monitor while you write, some attempts to “normalcy” seemed neccessary to balance the scales. So I played the game. On Xmass eve we left out whiskey for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. One year we spread flour all over the floor so we could see Santas’s footsteps tracking to the tree the next morning. (Imagine me, bleary eyed at 2 AM X-mass morning, making fake reindeer footprints with cardboard and cotton wool.)

But in my heart I never could stand that fat fraud. Why the hell, I would later demand, should that obese imposter get all the credit for presents that I bought with my hard earned money? Why should I encourage my daughter to believe that a bearded stranger who turns up once a year cares for her more than her parents?

And why do we encourage our children to cosy up and sit on a fat old, bearded stranger’s knee and whisper in his ear, asking for gifts? It would be a different story if old Santa was a homeless man harmlessly sitting on a bench in the park, wouldn’t it. “Oh no Jimmy! Don’t go near the strange man!” Hypocrites!

Besides, who made Santa our Moral Arbiter! What gives HIM the right to pass judgment and decide who’s “naughty or nice”? (these being the saccharine names we give to Good and Evil when speaking to children. Rather the way some parents will call their kids’ penis a “doodle/”willie”/”wee-wee” or use some other trite euphemism for that old Serpent in the Garden.)

You have to ask yourself questions. Whats the real story with those “elves”? What is Mrs Claus’s role? Is she just an “enabler”? Is Santa himself just a shill for the toy industry?

Perhaps the answer lies in the dark, pagan roots of Santa’s past. Now, Santa-apologists will tell you that his name derives from “Saint Nick”, but this is just historical revisionism.

For SANTA is in fact a debased form of his old Roman name, SATURN. Christmas itself was originally called SATURNALIA, being named for its patron. It was a midwinter festival on 25th December given over to games, and gifting and feasting and general tomfoolery of all kinds.

Like us, the Romans portrayed Saturn/Santa as a kindly old man with a beard, whose rule in a dim, distant past was reputedly a Golden Age. Saturn had a darker side, however, and was traditionally pictured carrying a scythe. Lets just say it is not good to look too closely into what the scythe was used for.

But the name “Saturn” itself is just the Roman mask for a much older God. A God the ancient Greeks called CRONOS.

Cronos, it must be mentioned, was also called, “The Devourer”. He acquired this charming sobriquet from his habit of swallowing his own children. Goya did a cheery little rendition of the subject which I include here for your delectation.


And what do you want for Xmass little boy?


In case you’re wondering, Cronos ate his kids so that none would grow up to eventually overthrow him. Sort of a unilateral, pre-emptive first-strike. Nice guy. And THIS is the person you want your children leaving milk and cookies out for?

So let’s kill Santa off. Sure we need an end of year Ritual, (its in our social DNA, call it Christmas or Saturnalia or Solstice Fires or whatever you like, its a time for the tribe to gather)

but its time the Fat Lady sang for the Fat Man.




There will be no sermon on 25th December but be assured the Reverend will return the following Sunday to enlighten and offend the multitudes.


The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe.

Talk about credibility



~ by reverendhellfire on December 18, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: