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How To Explain Black Santa

If you start with Black Santa in your home during the holidays, you’ll never have to explain it. It’s normal. You are more likely to have to explain white Santa to your kids. If you never told your child about Santa but let them know that you purchase all of their gifts, this article isn’t for you. You’re on a different plane. We’re not there yet and that’s fine.

If you happen to be one of those people who is Black with white Santa images in your home and one day decide that I want to take my child to take photos with Black Santa because now you’re woke, because you see the value in it, or the opportunity just presented itself, you might find yourself faced with all kinds of questions from your child who only knew about a white man with a beard that lived in the North Pole. I know, it’s all seems real superficial because we are talking about a fictitious character here but these images of a white Santa are on television, in stores, at some schools, and in decorations all over town. How does a parent explain this away to a child that is not racially colorblind and does it even matter?

It matters when we are talking about colorism and loving the skin that you’re in. We want brown children to appreciate their skin tone and who they are. Representation always matters. When children see someone they admire doing positive things in the world, it’s good if those images aren’t always of white people because that is not a real-world representation. Children build a sense of self and self-esteem by being exposed to positive images that look like them.

“Santa is whatever color you want him to be” or “Santa is whatever you are,” are good enough explanations for a child. One dad told his child that “Black Santa is the real Santa!” You can even say that “Black Santa is white Santa’s twin brother.” Who knows? If Wonder Woman can have a Black twin sister then why not Santa Claus? If your Black child still prefers a white Santa that’s okay too but have a deeper conversation to make sure they don’t have a colorism issue because that’s a different conversation.

Don’t get into a debate about this with adults because it’s just not worth it. That’s like arguing about the Easter Bunny’s color but without the racial undertones and white supremacy.

Janice Robinson-Celeste

Author & Publisher

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