The Legend of Sandra Claus

The Legend of Sandra Claus

Snadra Claus, artist's conception
Sandra Claus, artist’s rendering

There has been a good deal of teeth-gnashing this Christmas season over the all-important question of whether Santa Claus is white, black, or some other race. I submit that liberals really dropped the ball on this issue. Although many have argued that this wholly fictitious character is one color or another, none that I’m aware of has conflated the war on Christmas with the war on women and posited that Santa Claus is a female.

Think about it. Even the beatifier santa is the feminine form of the word. True, Claus is a masculine appellation, but in some cultures the embodiment of the fourth-century gift-giver who metamorphosed over the centuries into Santa Claus is known as Kris Kringle. Kris can go either way. (Which raises the possibility that Santa Claus is “other.” That should especially warm the cockles of liberals.)

The seeds for the notion that Santa Claus is a woman (let’s call her Sandra Claus) can be gleaned from an 1849 short story by James Rees, a Philadelphia-based Christian missionary, titled “A Christmas Legend.” The tale depicts an old man and woman, both carrying bundles on their backs, who are given shelter in a home on Christmas Eve. The following morning, the children of the house awake to find an abundance of gifts waiting for them. It is not unreasonable to extrapolate from the story that it is the distaff side of the couple — Sandra Claus — who left the toys and goodies.

1919 PostcardThe woman in Rees’s story appeared later in other works of fiction as Mrs. (whoops, Ms.) Claus, the wife of Santa. A postcard from 1919 (at right) shows her clad in an outfit very similar to the one worn by her hubby. Although he is the one depicted with a bag slung over his shoulder, that could be the result of sexism on the part of the artist, who assumed that a woman was too frail to hoist a heavy sack. As feminists have amply proven, women can do anything men can do, including compete on the gridiron — a feat demonstrated this past year by Lauren Silberman, who became the first female to try out for the NFL. (OK, she didn’t make it, but that’s beside the point.)

This year, when you check under the tree on Christmas Day and find that your wish has been granted, remember to thank Sandra Claus. Or not — but do have a Very Merry Christmas.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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