“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.
Written by Bonnie Kulenkamp
Where to Visit a Santa of Color in Indianapolis
This is where you can find a Black Santa in the Indianapolis area for 2022. 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 Duane will be at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on the following days:
- Saturday, November 26, 1:30–5 pm
- Thursday, December 1, 4-8 pm
- Sunday, December 11, 1:30–5 pm
- Saturday, December 17, 1:30–5 pm
- Monday, December 19, 1:30–5 pm
Santa at the Indiana State Museum
Santa Josiah will be at the Indiana State Museum on the following days:
- November 30, 9 am-5 pm
- December 3, 9 am-5 pm with Mrs. Claus (Santa’s Holiday Breakfast event)
- December 7, 10 am-5 pm
- December 12, 10 am-5 pm
- December 13, 5:30-8 pm. with Mrs. Claus (Snowflake Pajama Party event)
- December 16, 9 am-5 pm (Magical Mornings)
- December 17, 9 am-5 pm with Mrs. Claus (Santa’s Holiday Breakfast event)
- December 19, 10 am-5 pm
- December 23, 10 am-5 pm (Magical Mornings)
Books and Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 10, 2022, 9 am-12:30 pm
Community Alliance of Far Eastside (C.A.F.E.), 8902 E 38th Street, Indianapolis
Books and Breakfast with Santa costs $10 per person and includes breakfast. Each child will receive a book and toy, while supplies last. There will be coffee and vendors on-site.
Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 10, 2022, 10 am-Noon
Spotlight Event Center, 5060 East 62nd Street, Indianapolis
The Glitz & Glamour Breast Cancer Foundation is hosting a Breakfast with Santa with fun activities for children. Please bring an unwrapped toy for a needy child at Christmas. Tickets are $20 per person and children under 12 are free.
Black Business Bazaar
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center
The Black Business Bazaar, held every winter, helps DONT SLEEP fulfill part of its mission by supporting the Fay Biccard Glick Community Center through Vendor donations, and offering a free Black-owned marketplace for the community to patronize. Encouraging entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, health and wellness through not just material vendors, but Black healthcare providers as well. We often have visitors join us such as Santa Claus and other community partners that work together to make each year a great success!
Diverse Santa Books
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.
The Night Before Christmas: An African American Retelling
written by Noland Nixon
This retelling of the Clement Moore classic poem offers illustrations featuring an African American Santa Claus.
Jump at the Sun: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Holiday Classics
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.
A Piece of Black Cake for Santa
written by Yolanda T. Marshall
Femi and her friends and family enjoy their favorite holiday traditions—including the Caribbean treat, Black Cake for Santa.
The Day Santa Got Sick
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.
Discover Black Santa right where you are! Not only can you find Black Santas and events in your area, but you can upload your own photos and videos!
Find them on the App Store and Google Play.
Learn more about the app on Facebook or at www.findblacksanta.com/.
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!