“Auntie, can we go see Santa?” was the question my nieces and nephews kept asking me as we rode around shopping for the holidays last year.
I was hesitant to share my real thoughts, so I said, “let me find a place that has a cool Santa, and I’ll take you.”
What I really wanted to say was this: our Santa is Black.
This is the truth for many Black families. Our gift-giving, cookie-eating, and front-door entering Santa is mahogany, caramel, or mocha. He sure isn’t White with rosy red cheeks.
Now, my family and I know the history behind Saint Nicholas, the wealthy Greek bishop who is known for using his inheritance to buy impoverished children toys, clothes, and cookies. We understand the importance of understanding the history of the man behind Santa, and we respect the history. However, as centuries pass by, we know how much representation matters for the younger generations. That being said, it’s important that our children see Black men represent the wealthy, Good Samaritan we call Santa.
It’s important to have our children ask a Black man like their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and godfathers to bring them gifts and treats. It’s important to have our children experience the magic of Christmas with a man who looks like them. It’s important to have our children take photos and make memories with a man who represents their family.
We want our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and neighbors to feel the magic of Christmas with someone they can connect to, smile at, and love on for years to come.
If you have a picture of your favorite melanated Santa, share it with us on Facebook or Instagram by tagging with @midnightreflectionsllc