INDIANAPOLIS — Representation matters at all levels of life. Especially in education and career settings, but also in the holidays we celebrate.
The fictional legend, which stands on the belief of good behavior, historically has been seen as white.
Some parents, however, are wanting their kids to see a Santa Claus they can ethnically identify with. It's a void that a Texas mom wanted to be filled not only for her family but for others across the country. So she created an app.
The "Find Black Santa" app was created by Jihan Woods after she says she found it to be an annual challenge in finding a St. Nick who looked like her twin boys.
"Christmas can be celebrated in more than one way. Find Black Santa gives families like mine access to Black Santas nationwide," Woods said.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is one location you can find a variety of Santas.
“Black Santa is very important because we want to celebrate the diversity in our visitation," says Jennifer Pace Robinson, vice president of experience, development and family learning. "You want to see yourself when you come in the museum.”
You can search on their website their list of certified Santas and see when they’re scheduled, recognizing the importance of representation of all communities.
“We definitely have had that appreciation of families that either it was a surprise or they sought out our Santas," says Robinson. "And so just a recognition again of being able to see themselves in the staff and the offerings that we have.”
The museum also offers a theater show called Santa Clues, looking at the origin story of Santa and how he is portrayed in different cultures.
“We also want to celebrate that Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas is a very diverse tradition that is celebrated around the world. And we actually know that kind of the origin story of Santa probably originated in what is now Turkey," she says. "So it’s most definite that Santa was of an ethnicity, not necessarily White European.”
This is where you can find a Black Santa in Indianapolis for the 2020 holiday season:
- Dec. 3, 4–8 p.m. at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Dec. 5, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Dec. 12, 2–5 p.m. at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Dec. 12, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Virtual Santa Meet-up hosted by the Black Santa app
- Dec. 13, 2–5 p.m. at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Dec. 18, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m., 2–5 p.m. at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- From Chicago to Atlanta — there are over 20 virtual storytimes and meet-ups with Black Santas.