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2020: The Year of EcoSanta
Santa Claus... who is he? A descendent of Saint Francis of Assisi? Or a myth fully appropriated by the commercial world into our culture? Red suited men with white fluffy trims who normally wouldn’t be seen dead in such garb happily don this comic iconic Christmas outfit in December each year. Not just to give presents to wide-eyed children but to run in marathons and take part in any and every celebratory event dreamed up at the height of jollifications.
Originally, the mid-winter celebration was about the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere, heralding the move towards new growth and life. It was real, something easy to get your teeth into. Historically, Santa was a less benign creature, with a green outfit, till CocaCola transformed him into the greatest gift-giver to children imaginable.
So we move on. Scientists tell us we live in a non-linear world where things are not as logical as we fondly like to imagine. It is up to us to create something good and wonderful out of the chaos. I am a deep believer in solution-oriented thinking, something woefully absent in the whole story of Brexit.
Furthermore, I believe in Santa Claus, in his persona as ripe for development. Keying us into a solution-oriented mindset.
Now his sack is empty, EcoSanta is asking children, worldwide, to help him fill it with rubbish the rest of the year as a Gift to the Earth.
We at Ecologisers, the Young People’s International Anti-litter Charity, are asking children, world wide, to tweet on the #EcoSanta hashtag a photo of themselves with a piece of litter humorously captioned. For examples, see the slideshow below.
Why not give the myth a new spin? One that makes it more relevant, integrated into reality? Specifically, give Santa a persona that makes him and children together face up to dealing with one of our species’ on-our-doorstep self-created problems – plastic litter waste. Some plastic may come down the chimney too, courtesy of ever-curious crows.
EcoSanta gives children the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the myth itself, the long journey Santa Claus has made – over land, sea and centuries. There’s a reciprocal move, a mutuality, in giving something back. It’s akin to good luck money, borrowed from the Irish. As well as empowering children to take responsibility for the future they are inheriting, and make a better job of it than we are doing.
It’s not hard to see why I believe in the whole Santa Claus, the one over 1,700 years old. That is, as long as we stay completely in character, and go along with his morphing and evolving personality. I just love the greater credibility, relevance and importance the concept of EcoSanta sings out. The idea that EcoSanta is a potential gift-giver of such enormity to the whole world, in line with reality, ticks more boxes than Brexit ever will!
EcoSanta High Value Profile
(Rationale for adopting an EcoSanta identity)
1 It's in tune with the culture; children's environmental awareness.
2 It imparts a 'working with' Santa idea in young minds. Co-operation rather than gie-me, gie-me.
3 Mythologically, Santa Claus is the greatest gift-giver. For him to head up a giving, helping attitude is formative as a way-to-be in the world.
4 There's no copyright on ideas. Any EcoSanta development is multi-interpretive. Unique to each Santa who chooses to embrace the identity-change towards a public image more relevant, robust, real and long lasting.
5 The Santa-experience happens at a time of year when people's hearts are open, so is more likely to take fire.
6 Santa should not be confined to the 'Christmas bubble'. But given a year-long background identity as a hero-figure instrumental in helping young people and the planet.
7 The human heart naturally warms to anyone who steps 'outside role' in the cause of greater good and intrinsic worth.
8 Flexibility of interpretation offers the minimalist/maximalist spectrum.
9 EcoSanta offers a huge uprate in the identity of Santa Claus. A contemporary modernisation giving EcoSanta a significant role in re-shaping the culture.
10 This innovative Santa Claus is 'in-character'. There's a whole history of Santa's identity changing and evolving.
ECO SANTA PHOTO STORY - CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR 2018/19