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The Grinch Who Stole Santa Claus
November 16, 2005 permalink
Here is another victim of the moral panic surrounding child abuse. Swiss children will no longer be able to sit on Santa's lap.
United Press International
11/15/2005 12:51:00 PM -0500
Swiss Santas can't hold tots on lap
ZURICH, Switzerland, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Swiss Santas are banned from sitting children on their laps because they might be accused of pedophilia.
The Society of St. Nicholases issued the ruling to its 100 professional members after parents expressed concern about close contact between their children and the men.
"Samiklaus," as Santa is known in Swiss German, turns up Dec. 6 rather than the night of the 24th, the Telegraph said. Large groups of St Nicholases parade through the streets that day before visiting children. They traditionally sit them on their laps before asking if they have been well-behaved.
"We want to counteract any possible accusations of pedophilia involving our members," the Society of St Nicholases said in a statement. "We regret having to do this, but the public has become very sensitive about child abuse."
Walter Furrer, president of Zurich's Society of Nicholases, said the rule had been introduced after a flurry of calls to the society from parents.