Flat White

Santa Claus isn’t coming to town (if he’s not vaccinated)

21 November 2021

10:35 AM

21 November 2021

10:35 AM

If you’re screening and excluding family members from Christmas lunch according to their vaccination status, you’re doing Christmas all wrong.

But Australia’s top rating breakfast television program suggested on Friday that you do just that. 

Channel Seven’s Sunrise program featured a segment on “how to handle unvaccinated loved ones over the festive season”, insisting that unvaccinated family members will place everyone else in “a unique predicament” on Christmas Day.

Did mainstream media really need to go there? As if the last two years have not been divisive enough without using Christmas Day to promote fear and segregation.

Program host David Koch told viewers: “As Christmas approaches many of us will be faced with a new dilemma – how to handle unvaccinated loved ones and whether you should spend time with them over the festive season or sit next to them at Christmas dinner.”

Aldus Huxley, who said “the propogandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human”, would have been impressed.

Personally, I can’t imagine refusing to sit next to a family member – on Christmas Day no less – because they haven’t been jabbed. But that’s because I’m not a jerk. Clearly, the Sunrise producers have a different view of their audience. 

Program co-host Natalie Barr asked: “So how do you find out who is vaccinated? And how do you decide whether to invite them over for Christmas lunch?”


I’m old enough to remember when we used to wonder what was under the Christmas tree rather than what was in people’s bodies. 

A simple answer to her question would have been that you don’t ask people’s vaccination status because it really is none of your business. And you do invite family and friends over for Christmas lunch because you’re not the Christmas Grinch.

Barr Humbug’s question was rhetorical, so she ploughed on with all the grace of Ebenezer Scrooge: “Apart from the glazed ham and stuffed turkey there will also be an elephant in many dining rooms – the vaccination status of your nearest and dearest.”

Did she fear the virus might leap out of the turkey?

Sunrise sought views from people on the street, one of whom told their reporter: “I have friends who aren’t vaccinated, and I just think it would be odd not inviting them.”

Someone give that man a fruit mince pie! He was an island of sanity in a sea of breakfast television idiocy.

It’s hard to believe the Sunrise producers, having interviewed that man, didn’t think to themselves, “He’s right. This is odd. What’s wrong with us?”, and immediately bin the segment before finding a clinical psychologist to help them with whatever issues they obviously have.

Instead, they cut to an etiquette expert who helpfully suggested that “you can blame the health advice for not having unvaccinated guests over”.

That’s the Christmas spirit!

How much kinder history would have been to the Bethlehem inn if he’d only had an etiquette expert to advise how best to kick Mary and Joseph to the curb on that first holy night. 

The Gospel of Luke 2:7 would have read: “Mary wrapped baby Jesus in cloths and placed him in a manger, because the innkeeper had regretfully advised them that, due to the latest health advice, unvaccinated people could not be offered a room.”

If this is the sort of stuff Channel Seven are serving up in November, one shudders to think what they will do to carols in December. 

It’s the most vaccinated time of the year
Pfizer kids jingle belling
And health officers telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most vaccinated time of the year

It’s the vax-vaxxiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
Vaxxed friends come to call
It’s the vax-vaxxiest season of all

Christmas has a meaning. And this sure isn’t it. 

You can order James Macpherson’s new book Notes from Woketopia at jamesmacpherson.com.au.

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