Does Santa Claus's Ethnicity Matter?


There has recently been some controversy over Santa's Ethicity, which hit public attention after a report by Fox News1.  Although he has been traditionally depicted as a white man, many argue that because he is fictional we can imagine him as any ethnicity that we chose.  This article will compare arguments based on the history of Santa Claus and his current position in worldwide culture to evaluate whether his Ethnicity is important.


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Santa's Ethnicity Doesn't Matter

Santa Claus is White

History of Santa Claus

The Santa that many of us think of is a North American amalgimation of various characaters from different European traditions.  Those characters include:

  • Saint Nicolas
  • Father Christmas
  • Kris Kringle
  • Sinterklaas

Most of thees characters are fictional and although Santa is based on these characters, he is not any of them.  It is not possible to determine Santa's ethnicity based on these characters.

History of Santa Claus

Outline/argument for answer 2

Meaning of Santa Claus

Santa Claus plays a particular role in the stories told by and for children and adults in the world today.  One of the main messages inherent in the character of Santa Claus stems from his universality.  Santa delivers gifts to all the children of the earth, regardless of religious belief or ethnicity.  This universality has allowed him to spread as a character around the world and to be integrated into many cultures and societies.  When Santa appears in these locations, he is often portrayed as having the local ethnicity.

On a more individual level, every father should have the right to play the part of Santa Claus for his children.  In order to facilitate this, we need to ensure an ethnically neutral character.

Meaning of Santa Claus

Outline/argument for answer 1


Other Factors for Discussion

It has been suggested that we should update the story of Santa so that he is an animal, for instance a penguin, so that the character is always shown with a neutral ethnicity.


Santa Claus's Ethnicity

Does Santa's ethnicity matter?

Santa's ethnicity doesn't matter.
Yes, Santa Claus is White.
1 Votes left

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1.     Fox Nation: Megyn Kelly Addresses "White Santa" comments

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