Santa appears to be on the out this Christmas. Picture: istock
Santa appears to be on the out this Christmas. Picture: istock

‘Sustainability pirate’ replaces Santa

A Melbourne childcare centre has been accused of "taking the Christmas out of Christmas" after making the decision to replace Santa with a "sustainability pirate".

Parents reportedly received an invitation from the inner-city childcare centre that discarded end-of-year traditions, and oped to have a "get-together-picnic" and "fresh food swap" to celebrate the year's end.

A parent sent the invite to 3AW radio host Neil Mitchell, who described the celebration as "taking Christmas out of Christmas", and accused the centre of operating in a "deep, inner-hipster world".

The invitation read: "This year's party will be a get-together-picnic and fresh food swap for children and families to celebrate the end of the year."

But it seems to be a trend in Melbourne with one of the city's biggest shopping precincts also dumping traditional Christmas celebrations in favour of a sustainability theme.

Chapel Street Precinct Association is ditching the traditional festive routine, too, and switching it up to take advantage of sustainability messaging this Christmas holidays.

Rather than a traditional Santa sporting his famous red coast and boots while greeting children in the shopping strip, "Summer Santa" be decked out in attire from local retailers to "reflect our diverse community when he hits our iconic precinct streets", a statement from the group announced.

Melbourne’s Chapel Street is bucking traditions and introducing a new Santa who is ethically conscious. Picture: Sarah Matray.
Melbourne’s Chapel Street is bucking traditions and introducing a new Santa who is ethically conscious. Picture: Sarah Matray.

"Summer Santa has done his homework to reflect our diverse community when he hits our iconic precinct streets," Stonnington Councillor Melina Sehr said.

Chapel Street is also using the festive season to spread a sustainability message.

Chapel St business owners are set to star in a series of Customer Service Announcement videos highlighting the diverse community and environmentally-sound Christmas alternatives.

After a report claimed rubbish rises by 30 per cent during the festive season, the marketing association, which represents retailers, said it was important to keep up the good work and forward on the messages.

"Chapel Street is evolving and so too has our beloved Santa," Chapel Street Precinct Association General Manager Chrissie Maus said.

"While he may have had an image makeover, his message of love and giving has not only remained the same, it has evolved."


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