What Santa Claus Taught Me About Discrimination


In my younger days I was told that Santa Claus only visited Christian kids. So I decided I wanted to be Christian. Going to church seemed like a small sacrifice for getting Christmas presents and cookies. My family told me I was more than welcome to visit any place of worship my heart desired, but blatantly informed me that it did not mean I would get presents for Christmas, Eid or Hanukkah.

Soon enough I gave up on my quest to move to house with a chimney and decided to concentrate on Santas at the mall. That’s when I learned that Santa wasn’t as generous as he made himself out to be. In the movies he was a jolly man who went all over the world giving out presents to (Christian) kids. At the mall he wanted money for you to sit in his lap and tell him what you wanted for Christmas. My parents were not agreeable to paying him money so I could ask for a present we all knew I would not get.

Despite Santa’s discriminatory attitude I still loved Christmas. Lucky for me it wasn’t just Christian kids who benefitted from Christmas break at school or the cartoon specials on TV. And nobody at the store asked me about my religious affiliations when I wanted to buy marzipan or Christmas cake.

However, it wasn’t until I was older that I realized Christian kids also had a reason to not like Santa Claus.Ā  My Christian friends grew up without ever owning a pony, just like me. The only difference was that I didn’t waste my allowance on mailing letters to the North Pole asking for one.