This is Santa Claus as generations of children have known him. An elderly, white man with a beard. I agree his origins are slightly murky being tangled with St Nicholas, Kris Kringle and a few others whose names I don’t immediately recall; but one thing that has never been in dispute is that he is an old man with a white beard and the time management skills far above those of his peers. He has never been anything else and this current rash of lunacy about turning Santa politically correct is really starting to aggravate me. This week I’ve heard him described as a woman and I see in the paper this morning, he appeared as a youthful Maori warrior who was so spritely he didn’t even need to sit in the sleigh. By next week he’ll have replaced the elves with robots, turned the reindeer into electric cars and moved his command centre to Fiji so he doesn’t have to shovel all that snow. I do not object to Santa chosing his ethnicity, but when it comes to age, and gender it’s a huge no from me. Was Queen Victoria a man? No, but let’s just try that out shall we? See if anyone thinks it’s a good idea.
There are other factors that are not being taken into consideration. There are not, for example, that many summer jobs for fat elderly men who need to sit down a lot, and I’d have thought at least some of them would be complaining about the widening of the employment pool, but the silence has been profound. Are they afraid to fight for him because he’s generally percieved as white or are they ignoring him because he’s old? Or worse still, fat? And what about the kids who are beginning to think Santa Claus is just another story created by adults because if it wasn’t, wouldn’t they all be describing the same man?
I imagine myself a feminist, liberal-leaning thinker but when it comes to Santa Claus some things are set in stone. Some things have a history that transcends political correctness. Some things, like Santa, just are.