Every Kid knows Santa’s Color
By Six year old “Little Leo”
as told to
Kevin famously said in Home Alone II, “You can mess with a lot
of things, but you can’t mess with kids on Christmas.” So when an anchor at Fox News (whatever that
is), said “Santa is White,” I thought, like Kevin, “I don’t think so.” She should have asked a six year old like me,
Leo. Well, everyone calls me Little Leo.
Look, all us kids know Santa’s
color. It’s Candy Cane. Red cheeks? On ruddy skin, mostly covered in beard? You know, Santa, chief of the elves and lives
in the magical village somewhere at the North Pole. My Dad says Mrs. Claus is always telling him
what to do. If he goes outside, Santa’s
color is mostly blue, because it’s a gazillion degrees below zero up
there. If the elves hit the eggnog too
hard and don’t get the toys made on schedule, Santa’s facial color is mostly
red. For a while he was brown because he
loves the Cleveland football team, and then purple when he jumped on the
Baltimore wagon for their miracle run last year. But mostly he’s green because he’s originally
from Philadelphia and is really an Eagles fan.
So, Yo Santa, when we gettin’ a Super Bowl championship in Philly?
You get it? He’s Santa.
He can be any color he wants.
As Kevin showed in the first Home Alone, we kids know how it
works. There’s a lot of guys dressed up
in Santa suits out there. They can be
any kind of people, and I’ve seen them all: fat, skinny, old, young, smart (those
ones never tell you you’re getting what you ask for. They say they’ll check with your parents
first) and some are a few light bulbs short of a fully decorated tree (they
promise you’ll get everything you ask for, but never deliver). I go to lots of toy stores, especially before
Christmas. You see, each of these Santas
down here listen to kids and then get the messages back to the real Santa up at
the North Pole.
The real Santa, he’s the guy like Tim
Allen in The Santa ClausE, who puts
on the real red suit and turns into the candy cane colored, humungous, guy who
gives toys to all the good little girls and boys. Lucky for me, Santa’s an easy grader. What ethnicity or color is he? Who cares!
We kids just want toys. And my
Mom says we have to share some of our toys with other kids, so we always take
some gifts to the Salvation Army before Christmas. And we’re happy that Santa’s such a Communist
or Socialist (whatever those words mean.
My Dad told me to put them in).
We know that all the little kids get toys at Christmas. How cool is that? Wouldn’t it be great if real grownups thought
like that? All kids getting what they
need, just ‘cause they’re kids! Doesn’t
matter what shape or size, country or color.
Santa serves all kids, all kinds, everywhere.
It would be a world like Bedford Falls
in It’s a Wonderful Life. The George Baileys would get to make the ways
the world ought to be. The Mr. Potters
would be watching Fox News all day and night, sitting there scowling and mad
like the Grinch, unhappy because everyone in Whoville had a house with a few
rooms and a bath. No one living in
Pottersville. That would be great. My Dad makes us watch that movie every
Christmas Eve before we go to Midnight Mass at eight o’clock at our
parish. My big sister, she’s thirteen,
she says the movie is boring, but she says everything is boring. I love it when Clarence, and then George, jumps
in the icy water and, at the end, when the angels get their wings.
At Mass, my Mom says we’ll hear about
something our new Pope, Pope Francis, wrote, The Joy of the Gospel. Dad
says Fox News gets it wrong. Fox says the
Pope’s against capitalism (whatever that is).
Actually, the Pope is for everybody and love and peace and justice. Fr. Rick, who is writing this all down for
me, says I should tell the people what the Pope said.
“Whenever our interior life becomes
caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for
others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of
his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very
real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful,
angry and listless. … I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this
very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an
openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly
each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her,
since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, #2-3).
Cool. As Linus said, “That’s what
Christmas is all about Charlie Brown!”
And Christmas and Jesus and Santa are for everybody, anyone who ever
lived. It’s like birthday parties. Everyone gets invited. Bishop Harry Flynn learned that when he
didn’t want to invite an African American girl to his sixth birthday
party. His Mom told him, “Fine. But you don’t invite her, you don’t have a
Bishop Flynn writes, “I still have a vivid memory of that
birthday party and of my mother warmly greeting the young African American girl
as she came up the sidewalk to attend the party. That single act made a very
deep impression on me” (Flynn 2003).”
Duh! How dumb was that, not wanting to invite that little girl to his
party. Archbishop Flynn learned his
lesson and now he teaches us:
“Racism takes many forms, but at its
core it is a personal and social disorder rooted in the assumption that one
race is superior to another. … I believe that two broad types of racism need
to be recognized and resisted: individual and institutional. Individual racism
is evident when a person adopts attitudes or takes actions that are based on
the assumption of racial superiority. Such attitudes and actions violate the
rights and dignity of other people because of race. A second type of racism is institutional or
structural. This type of racism exists where patterns of racial superiority are
embedded in the systems and institutions of society. Such racism is less
blatant and more complex, but it exists nonetheless. It is present wherever
systems and institutions are created and maintained in such a way that they
provide privilege or prejudice for one race over others. This type of racism
can be seen, to varying degrees, in many of our social, economic, and political
structures, including the structures of our Church.” (Flynn 2003)
it’s me again, Little Leo. All I say is,
it’s time to root out racism, in our hearts, our lives, and all the insti…
insta… insti… That’s a big word…. Root
it out in all the places it exists. Most
importantly, let’s take racism out of Christmas.
Oh, you ask what color I am? I’m six.