Survey claims 27% want female or ‘gender-neutral’ Santa, despite roots as historical figure
December 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A logo design company has generated some Christmas buzz by announcing a new survey that claims more than a quarter of Americans and Brits would like to see Santa Claus rebranded as either female or “gender-neutral.”
“What if Father Christmas was rebranded for today?” asked Graphic Springs in a blog post that imagines a “Modern Santa” decked out in skinny jeans and tattoos, and even trading in his sleigh and reindeer for a hoverboard.
The company reveals the results of a survey of United States and United Kingdom residents, in which 400 respondents submitted suggestions for changes to Santa, which were then voted on by more than 4,000 respondents.
Among fanciful suggestions such as dreadlocks, shaving his beard, and driving a limousine, the survey found that 10.6 percent would make Santa female, and 17.2 percent would make him “gender neutral,” for a combined total of 27.8 percent.
“I picture a woman giving presents,” New Jersey resident Andy Souza told News 12 New Jersey. “I just feel like a white, old man giving presents is kind of creepy.” Another resident, John Lerman, said Santa “can be whatever you want it to be” because “I think Santa is a mystical creature.”
Citing the rising popularity of “non-binary” gender classifications, Christina Capatides of CBS News mused that “perhaps it's not all that shocking that people feel Father Christmas should look more like them.”
While redefining characters as LGBT is something of a modern craze, in the case of Santa Claus it overlooks the fact that the holiday icon is based on a historical, male figure.
St. Nicholas was the 4th-century Bishop of Myra, whose reputation for generosity and kindness – including secretly leaving gold in a poor man’s home on multiple occasions – inspired tales that eventually evolved into the modern story of Santa Claus’s Christmas Eve flight around the world.
St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children.
“Legend has it that Saint Nicholas became aware of a desperately poor parishioner having three daughters with no dowry to recommend them for marriage. The father had planned to sell them into prostitution to provide some means of support,” Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College’s Center for Vision and Values wrote in 2006. “By night, Saint Nicholas secretly brought bags of gold on three separate occasions to the man’s home. These generous visitations allowed the three daughters to have sufficient means to avoid whoredom and later strike a marriage covenant.”
Though kindly, the historical Nicholas is also said to have been capable of being forceful and uncompromising when the occasion arose.
One of the stories goes that at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., he grew so outraged by the heretic Arius’s contention that Jesus Christ was less than God that he walked across the room to strike him in the face. As punishment Nicholas was allegedly stripped of his bishop’s robe and thrown in prison, though one account says bishops freed him the next day after hearing that his chains had been miraculously removed and his robe restored following a divine visit from Jesus and the Virgin Mary.