Sir: We believe in Father Christmas. Although no Santa has been accused of child abuse, some shops, including Selfridges, have banned unaccompanied children from entering Santa's grotto (report, 15 November). Two weeks ago we found out that male nurses have been warned off cuddling sick children, now it's Santa. Children and their parents are suffering because of a fear of abuse that far outstrips the actual risk.
Visiting Santa's Grotto allows children to engage in a happy fantasy and enriches their experience. Sometimes visiting Santa for the first time can be a little scary, but it all turns out happily and helps children develop self-confidence with people they do not know.
This action threatens to undermine parents' confidence to leave their child unattended, even for a few minutes. The ban sends out the message that no adult, not even Santa Claus, can be trusted. It says more about the imaginations of people who come up with these plans than about innocent men dressed up in silly clothes.
Families for Freedom