“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. Representation is important, even with Santa Claus.
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, including a black Santa in Indy.
By Bonnie Kulenkamp
Where to See a Black Santa in 2019
This is where you can find a Black Santa in the Indianapolis area for 2019. 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.
Santa at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Santa Chris will be at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on the following days:
- December 1, 12:30-5 pm
- December 5, 4-8 pm
- December 7, 12:30-5 pm
- December 12, 2-5 pm
- December 16, 2-5 pm
- December 20, 11 am-2 pm
Santa at The Indiana History Center
Santa Josiah will visit with children at the Festival of Trees at the Indiana Historical Society on these dates:
- December 1, 1-4pm
December 8, 1-4pm
December 15, 1-4pm
December 22, 1-4pm
- December 1, 1-4pm
Edna Martin Christian Center, 2605 E 25th St, Indianapolis 46218
Art Haus Balloon Company LLC proudly presents the Black Owned Holiday Baazar. Shop local black owned business vendors to purchase amazing while your children make holiday ornaments. Don’t forget to bring you letter to Santa and get a photo with the Jolly old elf himself!
December 21, 9 am-Noon
Indiana State Museum
The Indianapolis Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. presents the 20th Annual Breakfast With Santa – A Motown Christmas! Tickets are $41 for ages 13 – adult, $31 for children ages 3-12, and free for children 2 & under. Each tickets includes a breakfast buffet, photo with Santa, admission to the museum, and more!
December 21, 11 am-5 pm
Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center
The 6th annual Black Business Bazaar at Fay Biccard is December 21 from 11 am-5 pm! This holiday themed event is the perfect opportunity to spend those after Black Friday Bucks with Black Owned Vendors! Join us for music, fun, a plethora of vendors in art, fashion, beauty, health supplies and more with a special and surprise visit from Santa himself!
Children’s Books with Black Santas
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.
written by Noland Nixon
This retelling of the Clement Moore classic poem offers illustrations featuring an African American Santa Claus.
written by Rex Perry
Images of an African American Santa as well as African American children help illustrate diversity in this children’s picture book series.
written by Yolanda T. Marshall
Femi and her friends and family enjoy their favorite holiday traditions—including the Caribbean treat, Black Cake for Santa.
written by Deanne Samuels and illustrated by Oliver Kryzz Bundoc
This is a multicultural Christmas story about how a little elf and Mrs. Claus come up with a solution to deliver toys for Christmas after Santa gets sick.
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!