This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Customer Service Person
Shopper One
Shopper Two

Christmas Season 2016. An afternoon in late December, 2016 at a crowded mall in suburban New Jersey. Shoppers wait in line at the Customer Service Desk, next to a Santa Claus booth with long lines of children.


SHOPPER ONE: Yes, please. I have a question. Do you know anything about your Santa Claus?


SHOPPER ONE: Right over there. I can't see through the door.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: You have to pay and get a ticket first.

SHOPPER TWO: The line is over there.

SHOPPER ONE: I know. I don't really want to pay for my godson to see him if he's white.


SHOPPER ONE: I was asking because, in all of my forty five years shopping in this mall I've never seen a Black Santa, or a Santa of any color.

SHOPPER TWO: I never thought about that.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: Neither have I, but why does it matter if he's white?

SHOPPER ONE: Maybe it doesn't. Maybe it matters if he's not white.

SHOPPER TWO: Why should that matter?

SHOPPER ONE: Is there some sort of unofficial Santa Claus policy?

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: I don't think so. But the mall isn't in charge of Santa Claus.

SHOPPER ONE: I guess that's a good thing.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: I was told the whole operation is a Dreamworks contract.

SHOPPER ONE: OK. But a contract with whom or what? The mall, right?

SHOPPER TWO: You don't want a white Santa Claus?

SHOPPER ONE: I think it's good to have different people playing Santa Claus. Lots of different people. I don't want to have to go to West Philly or Chinatown to take my godson to see a Santa Claus of color.


SHOPPER ONE: Why should I? If I have to I will. I just don't understand why this mall has never had a Black Santa. Or a Santa in a wheelchair....or lots of other sorts of Santas and helpers.

SHOPPER TWO: That Santa does have Black helpers.

SHOPPER ONE: Of course he does.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: I haven't been inside the booth, but I know Santa isn't in a wheelchair.

SHOPPER TWO: You want Santa in a wheelchair?

SHOPPER ONE: No. I don't mean----

SHOPPER TWO: Santa should be the same everywhere.


SHOPPER TWO: What's wrong with the Santa in there? I took my son last week. He loved it. I think he's a good Santa.

SHOPPER ONE: Why is the Default Santa white?

SHOPPER TWO: What's a Default Santa?

SHOPPER ONE: If Santa should be the same everywhere, why can't the Default Santa be Chinese? Maybe Santa should be Chinese everywhere.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: I don't know what you mean by a 'Default Santa'. I thought you were looking for a Black Santa, not a Chinese Santa.

SHOPPER ONE: I was. I am.

SHOPPER TWO: You just said you wanted a Chinese Santa.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: I can ask someone from the mall to contact you regarding your question. Or you can write a comment slip.

The CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON hands SHOPPER ONE a comment slip with a pencil.

SHOPPER ONE: Good Lord. I'm tight on time. I'll leave my comments on the mall's website.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON: I'm sorry I couldn't help you.

SHOPPER TWO: At least you can go to a Default Santa in Chinatown. Right? Good luck.

SHOPPER ONE begins to walk away, then turns back.

SHOPPER ONE: Why can't the mall Santa be Black one year, and Chinese the next? Why am I searching for a hyphenated Santa? Why can't I go to Chinatown to see a Chinese Santa, and then come to my local mall and see a Santa who is Chinese? Would that be impossible? Why does Default Santa always have to be white? Why does Santa have to be either-or? Why can't Santa be both-and? Why can't the mall Santa be Black one year, and Chinese the next?


SHOPPER ONE: OK. OK. You know what? Merry Christmas.

And SHOPPER ONE leaves without purchasing a Santa Claus ticket for her godson.

The End

Popular in the Community