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The other day, the news media was abuzz about the color of Santa Claus. Seems a rather attractive, fair-skinned commentator on one of the “right-wing” news networks, who likely doubled-up with laughter in the aftermath, had declared that Santa Claus was white.

Taken quite seriously nonetheless, such generally implied that Santa Claus is a white man. And so began another day or two, or more, of extensive media debate about the elusive race of Santa Claus, that great international escape artist who symbolizes the spirit of Christmas giving.

Of course, healthy debate about race and its positive symbolism is a conversation we all must have on occasion, and we welcome that and appreciate the media’s watchful eye always.

Decades ago when I was a kid still believing in Santa Claus, my particular Santa was only one color though Santa illustrations were generally of the traditional European type. Yet, we never gave any thought as to what race Santa actually was. As I recall, we never mentioned it, nor would anyone else in our world or in the news media, really.

In fact, back then, who would even believe such a silly declaration? After all, everybody knows that Santa has a white beard and lives in the North Pole, and has a red sack full of toys on his sleigh driven by eight tiny reindeer.

Beyond that, a delightful void beaming with ever-new joy was enough for us back then, when all we had to do was think about Santa Claus or Christmas Day and there we were.

As kids, new toys were our greatest concern, so naturally we waited anxiously for Christmas Morning. Later, as adults, we learned that it was the loving thought that really counts.

Yet, as we progress into a more caring society, I suppose Santa Claus has to evoke the proper perspective as well, and that’s a good thing.

In the interest of such, let us recall my childhood Santa who looked quite different from the traditional European illustration usually published in Western culture.

Instead of having a white beard with rosy cheeks and a big belly, the Santa Clause of my childhood was actually a petite and very fashionable, African American woman!

Her bag of toys was a Sears Roebuck catalog enhanced with mysteriously wrapped shoe boxes, labeled with each of our names from Santa, and filled with loads of Christmas candy, freshly shelled pecans from the South (sent by our aunt), and the sweetest of all tangerines.

Though Santa’s alleged reality likely come into question on some level, as kids we never could figure out where that mysterious wrapping paper came from, which made our early Christmases all the more mystical.  And so it was.

Thanks Mom!

Well, Merry Christmas dear reader and do Keep the Faith!

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