The idyllic snow-covered ground on Christmas morning is something I grew up with, and for some of my childhood in Tennessee it was a real possibility. I can’t remember if it actually happened while I lived there, but now that I live in south Texas, I just hope for no rain. Last year we did get about an inch of snow on the ground in early December, and it was the first time that the area had seen the scary white stuff in about 13 years. We enjoyed it during the delayed start to everyone’s day, but by that afternoon it was gone and just a memory. This year looks to be an average Christmas which means the weather could be near freezing, or we could spend our day in short sleeves and on a playground.
But none of that is what I’m really talking about when I mention a white Christmas. As I’ve (probably) mentioned before, and something that should be obvious from the pictures I post of him, my son beautifully brown. I struggle to find cartoon and book characters that he can look at and see similarity with. When it comes to the holiday season it is even harder to find people of color represented in decorations and stories. Almost all of the cute Christmas tree angels, Santas, and nutcrackers are white. Now I will give credit where due, the Elf on the Shelf craze has definitely made diversity a little easier to incorporate since they do offer elves in a variety of skin tone. However/fortunately, we have not had one of those mischievous spies invade our house.
When it comes to bringing a range of color to my tree, Target has been the best option for me. I was so excited to find that their standard ornaments of people often come in more than one skin tone. I love the little luchadores, and just want to snuggle the sweetly dressed winter guy I got there. Elves mostly just creep me out, but I got a couple of them when I saw them. When my son picked up the Santa ornament and realized their skin was the same shade, he beamed as he carried it around. Black Panther was totally my addition to the super heroes (superman and wonder woman) already on our tree, though my son likes him, I’m definitely the bigger fan there.
Toys are another issue for me at this time of year. I’ll forgive gifts of batman since my guy loves the him more than any other super hero, but beyond that, I really do not care for my son being given gifts of white characters. We do a lot of Paw Patrol and Cars toys because they don’t feature as many/any people. Again, I acknowledge that there are some moves toward diversity when it comes to dolls, but action figures have a ways to go to put a dent in the white dominated toy industry. I do foresee at lease one Miles Morales Spiderman toy joining our collection this Christmas and I’m donating more than one Tiana doll to the Toys for Tots drives.
Then there is the big guy himself. My kingdom for a mall Santa who isn’t white! We will still go and do the pictures with him, but I would love to live in an area where we had more Santa options. Historically the guy was Mediterranean, so he definitely didn’t bear too much resemblance to the Coca Cola image we all recognize now. Maybe we need to take things back a bit and bring back Krampus to mix up the holiday experience. How do you bring more color into your winter wonderland?