Did you ever believe in Santa Claus? I did, and that was so long ago if you said old Saint Nick was white, no one batted an eye lash. A few years ago that belief was one of the bill of particulars that led to Megyn Kelly losing her job as an NBC Today anchor. (She also had opined that Jesus was white.)
Times change. My Santacentric beliefs were formed before Twitter, the digital thought police, had arisen from the slime. (Twitter is overwhelmingly left and young, and 10% of the tweeters create 80% of the traffic, yet it is somehow taken as a true barometer of public opinion. It is not.)
So I believed in Santa Claus until I didn’t and then I went into journalism and because of the famous “Yes, Virginia” editorial in the New York Sun, I had to believe in Santa again.
But not really. So that was Step 2 (above). Then I became a father, and, yes — Step 3: I was Santa Claus. (Well, we called him Hanukkah Harry, but the kids knew that was a joke.)
Then Step 4 and I look like Santa Claus. Around the girth, anyway.
Years ago, at the Daily News Christmas party, which was called a Christmas party, columnist Elmer Smith played Santa. Elmer was black. Still is, in fact.
This was our way of screwing with tradition. See — really — the character on whom Santa is modeled is indeed white, but the spirit he represents has no color and no nationality. Kelly went wrong when she walled off Clement Moore’s literary “A Visit from St. Nicolas” from the cultural appropriation of progressives who worship diversity.
Santa belongs to all the Virginias of the world and I expect the do-gooders soon will be doing something about his weight, because obesity is no laughing matter and he sets a bad example for kids.
8 thoughts on “Santa baby, with a sack full of trouble”
HAPPY SUNDAY !!!
Again with the truths. Way back in the day, We had a White Christmas to go with our white Santa. We didn’t anything of his color. The guy’s from the north pole. He wasn’t an Eskimo, so, of course he was white.
As you point out, when the kiddies come into our life, Christmas is for the kids again. Still, back then, color wasn’t a big deal, but the images of a Black Santa were starting to pop up. We didn’t care as long as everyone believed in Santa and the spirit of Christmas.
Since you know me fairly well, you can understand that the thought and “P.C.” police are looking for me. They want to lock me up and throw away the key.
The irony to all of this. I was born in the wee hours of Christmas Day !
Stu, I think you are right on. NOBODY takes ownership of the origin of the HOLIDAY SPIRIT. We tend to overlook its intent of universal good, and focus on making its symbol our personal mascot. While it is factual that Jesus was Jewish and likely a dark-skinned Palestinian, and Santa arose from Nordic and European traditions, which portray him as white, SO WHAT? It’s what they represent and role model for all: generosity, kindness, compassion, fun!
Suze – I was finally getting around to seeing Stu’s Latest Greatest today (very late), and found that you stole my thunder. Pretty much what I was going to say, other than to add that Jesus’ birthday is believed to be sometime in March, so, talk about something that’s gotten lost to the ages.
Considering Santa is less than 200 years old and where he originated, I still say that Santa is anything that anyone wants him to be.
I gladly accepted when asked to be Santa at a kiddie Christmas party. However, the phony beard triggered an extreme allergic reaction and I couldn’t breathe. They say the kids had a good time.
Actually Santa Claus traces his origin back to the “village” of Myra, Turkey, around 325. Nicholas was its bishop and was known for his kindness and good works, especially among the poor. Nicholas becomes patron saint of sailors and Russia. The “stories” of St. Nicholas spread through Russia and on to Germany (where he picks up the furs and touches of cold weather) and at the same time are carried westward by sailors, which is probably how he makes his first appearances in Holland. By then the sailors St. Nicholas is riding a horse and has a “dark” assistant who rewards good children and punishes bad children.
St. Nicholas (Santa) makes it to the U.S. in the early 1800s. His Dutch influence is carried here most likely because of the heavy traffic between the Netherlands and the Hudson Valley. The first “modern” look at Santa and his chimney prowess comes via the poem “A Visit from St. Nick” which ran in a Troy, NY newspaper in 1823.
Thx, Gordon, for the updated history of The Big Man. I only remember the U.S. entry in the early 1800’s.
You have refreshed my memory of the origins. Thank you.
Stu, I checked carefully: there is no sanity clause. (Thank you, Marx Brothers.)
Comments are closed.