The Save Baby Jesus initiative (in Czech Zachraňte Ježíška) was founded eight years ago by a concerned group of Czechs determined to preserve their traditional Christmas carp-fest in the face of red-suited, jolly-cheeked globalism.
The founding father of the eight-year-old crusade, Christian Democrat Tomáš Zdechovský, is also known for his efforts to shut down Halloween in the Czech Republic. He said of the anti-Santa initiative in a recent statement:
“We want the baby Jesus to be saved from the invasion of the red fat man and his reindeer underlings. In the past, Grandfather Frost was [forced upon the Czech enivronment]…after the revolution it continues with Santa Claus.”
In the run up to the holiday season, the group is reporting that they have reached 50,000 likes on Facebook. Posts on the Save Baby Jesus page range from humorous to impassioned and include rock videos screeching His praises and expose-style photos of Czech store shelves stocked with Santa tchotchkes.
“These decorations destroy the Infant Jesus in children’s imagination, which leads to the gradual forgetting of Czech tradition and accepting symbols from abroad,” says Zdechovský.
The politician is thrilled with the group’s recent upsurge in popularity and will continue to campaign for supremacy of the invisible, gift-bearing Christ child throughout the holiday season.
On behalf of Santa-embracing expat families throughout the Czech Republic, I recently asked group member Jitka Fialová if the two traditions couldn’t find a way to peacefully co-exist?
“When Santa doesn’t steam roll baby Jesus then they can co-exist in harmony.”
An early gift to outsiders, perhaps, in these Zeman-led, make-Czechia-great-again times?