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'Santa's Husband' is the Christmas book of 2017.

SPOILER ALERT: Santa is not real.

Santa is a fictional character. Santa was not present at the birth of Christ.

We’ve always thought of him as a jolly, warm and robust man, but he could be thin. He could be grumpy. He could loathe cookies and milk.

Really all that he needs to be identifiable is a white beard, and a red suit. And that’s the idea behind ‘Santa’s Husband‘, written by American author Daniel Kibblesmith.

The idea came to Kibblesmith and his wife a year ago, when the Mall of America announced that a black Santa would be seeing kids, in direct contravention of The Bible, which contains an entire chapter dedicated to Santa’s role in Christianity. Whilst black Santas weren’t a new concept, and had existed in American shopping malls for many years, the appointment of this particular Santa still made international headlines because of the racist outrage in response.

Kibblesmith and his wife had their own response:

 And from there the idea of ‘Santa’s Husband’ as a book was born.
The story opens by introducing Santa, and his husband, Mr Claus. The reader sees immediately that Santa is black. And is married to a white dude. But the story isn’t about race, or sexuality. Santa and his husband are just a normal couple preparing to celebrate Christmas; dealing with elves in the toy workshop, feeding reindeer – you know, the kind of stuff we all do.
Standard Christmas prep

In this era of tolerance, inclusion and acceptance, which embraces diversity more than ever, a book that normalises difference makes total sense. Kibblesmith writes in one part, “Maybe Santa Clauses can come in all shapes and colors and sizes! Just like the families that Santa Claus visits all over the world.”

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Listen to This Glorious Mess discuss whether Santa has any business being in a lingerie ad. Post continues after. 

But there's been backlash to the book from Christmas purists, who refuse to accept that Santa is a totally made-up figure that is not even from a book, and whose image has appeared in everything from Coke ads to movies like Santa Claus is Cumming to Town.


Basically the best Santa of all time. Thanks @benitalitt for sharing the holiday cheer. #merrychristmas #LA ????>????

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Kibblesmith himself explained, "One of the first comments [on social media] was 'Stop re-writing history.' But certainly some could argue that the legend of Santa Claus is best described as a legend, and we're not actually rewriting history as much as interpreting a story."

And that interpretation is helping a diverse group feel more included in Christmas. This is especially important considering that in most Western countries, Christmas Day is celebrated as a national holiday, and so people are to some extent encouraged to embrace it and celebrate it in their own ways. In 2017, Christmas is about love, togetherness, gifts and FOOD; and absolutely not just about the birth of Christ. Sorry, Jesus, but Christmas is no longer just all about you.

Ultimately, 'Santa's Husband' is just a book.

"We call it 'an all-ages book.' There are parents who have given it to their kids, or are reading it with their kids," said Kibblesmith. "Because at the end of the day, it's really just equitable to any other introductory book about Santa Claus that you could give to a five-year-old. It's just in our version, Santa Claus is black and married to a man."

So, if all of this worries you, relax. The message is peace - not an adult interpretation of 'Jingle Bells.'

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