50 Years Ago Today

SANTA CLAUS ON FIRE: Paris, 25 – The campaign by French bishops against Papa Noel (our own Santa Claus) has come under attack from the socialist party newspaper Populaire. Saying that it was a tradition of the Catholic Church to appropriate idolatrous icons and adapt them to Christian purposes, it seemed that such a metamorphosis was at hand. Papa Noel, who until now had been a vagrant dressed in a red costume and wearing a false beard in order to entertain children and earn some money, is now being condemned by the church, who will sanctify him in 20 years’ time. As a result of the bishops’ campaign, the association of Catholic youth in Dijon burnt an effigy of Papa Noel outside the Cathedral of Saint Benin. CHRISTMAS MARKET: All food stores yesterday were decked out in festive decoration of myrtle, laurel, palm leaves and with brightly colored paper garlands. Meat of every kind was on offer, from sheep from Serbia, frozen meat from Australia, kid from Turkey, beef from Karystos, to select domestic suckling lambs. Between 60,000 and 70,000 turkeys and fowl have been brought in from Thessaly, Messinia and Thrace. That which was in short supply and of poor quality were pasta products.