“Santa can sometimes be brown you know?” I said to my 5 year old daughter as we pulled decorations out of Christmas storage. I had remembered that two seasons ago, my sister in law had gifted us an African American Santa Claus ceramic ornament to add to our collection. My daughter raised her eyebrows at my comment.
At the time we were gifted Black Santa, my children were a few years younger and had not verbalized any comments about the change in skin color on our newest ornament. This year, like most five year olds, my daughter held a strong opinion. “Mom! Santa isn’t brown he’s pink, like you and dad!” she exclaimed. I frowned thinking I had done a poor job exposing her to different types of Santas.
As a transracial adoptive family, I knew the importance of exposing my African American children to opportunities to see themselves reflected back in the books we read, the shows we watched, and the people we met on a daily basis. Somehow I felt I had dropped the ball when it came to exposing them to a Santa Claus that looked more like them. Because of our conversation this Christmas, I was determined to show my children more diversity when it came to Santa. This is the reason I’m excited about some of the opportunities to meet different kinds of Santas in person around Indianapolis this holiday season.
Here is the 2016 list of some of the opportunities for your family to visit with an African American Santa in the Indianapolis area. If you know of other opportunities not on our list, please let Indy with Kids know, so that we can add to our list for our readers. Happy Holidays from the Indy with Kids family to your family!
Santa will be at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Thursday, Dec. 1 from 4 – 8 p.m. and again for the neighborhood party, which is by invitation only to families who live in the six surrounding neighborhoods.
On Saturday, December 10 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, the Holy Angels Catholic School at 2822 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Street will host their annual pancake breakfast with Santa. Breakfast with Santa is $4 for children ages 12 years and younger. Breakfast is $5 per person for anyone 13 years or older. There will be children’s activities and Santa photo opportunities during this event. 4×6 Santa Photos can be purchased at $5 each. No reservations are needed to attend. For more information, please call 317-926-3324.
On Saturday, December 17 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, the Madam Walker Theater located at 617 Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis will host Santa Claus to allow for photo opportunities with your children. This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed to attend. For more information, please call 317-236-2099.
On Wednesday, December 21st from 6 pm to 9 pm Skateland’s Santa experience will feature an African American Santa Claus! Don’t Forget to grab your camera to take pictures with Santa! $7.00 admission and $4.00 skate rental.
If you can’t get to one of the above events in Indianapolis this holiday season, there are other opportunities to introduce your children to a diverse array of Santa Claus’ through the following children’s books.
This retelling of the Clement Moore classic poem offers illustrations featuring an African American Santa Claus.
Images of an African American Santa as well as African American children help illustrate diversity in this children’s picture book series.
When you attend this and other events with your family, please be sure to share your experiences on social media with Indy with Kids using the hashtag #PLAYindy. Follow Indy with Kids on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and don’t forget to use the Indy with Kids Mobile App for up to date information on all the wonderful local happenings for your family!
Katie is a freelance writer and photographer. She loves to be out in nature, hiking, photographing wildlife and exploring all the wonders of the great outdoors. Katie is also passionate about volunteerism by giving back to the community in various ways. She has a son who she adores and is happily married to her best friend since 2007. Follow Katie in her adventures on Instagram @funwithblake.