In November of 1998, I received a very disturbing e-mail. It had been forwarded several times, so there was no way to point to the original author or origin. I would like to quote that e-mail in it’s entirety, and then add my own comments:
He’s a She
“I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he’s a she.
“Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing, social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off! For starters, the vast majority of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It’s as if they are frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3:00 p.m. on December 24th, when they-with amazing calm-call other errant men and plan for a last minute shopping spree. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves.
“You might think that this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tell’s me it’s an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision making burden. On this count alone, I’m convinced Santa is a woman. Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.
“Another problem for the he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted, and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. Even if the male Santa did have reindeer, he’d still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.
“Add this to the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.
“Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man: Men can’t pack a bag. Men would rather be caught dead than wearing red velvet. Men would feel their masculinity is threatened having to be seen with all those elves. Men don’t answer their mail. Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a “bowl full of jelly.” Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them. Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women. Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.
“I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday creatures are men…Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Cupid flies around carrying weapons. Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these could pass the testosterone screening test. But not St. Nick. Not a chance.
As long as we have each other, good will, peace on Earth, and Nat King Cole’s version of the “Christmas Song,” it will probably makes little difference what gender Santa is. I just wish she’d stop dressing like a guy!!! Ha Ha Ha, or should I say Ho Ho Ho?”
Okay, that is the e-mail that I received. A few days later, in early December of 1998, I sent the following response:
Santa Really is a Man
I received a very disturbing e-mail the other day that tried to assert that Jolly Old Saint Nick was really a woman. Though I have never seen him/her in the locker room (he doesn’t appear to be the kind of person to work out anyway), I’m sure that Santa’s manhood should not be held in question.
Listed below you will find my reasoning and proof that the guy in the big red suit really is a guy. I’ll break this down by category to slowly walk you through the process step by step. This is in case some lesbian feminist man-hater is reading this and needs me to go slow so that her brain can attempt to grasp actual, verifiable facts (which is doubtful).
CLOTHING: Santa wears a red suit. It is the same suit that he has worn for hundreds of years. Do I need to point out that no woman could go through the holiday season without receiving at least one new outfit? No woman would consider wearing the same dress two years in a row, let alone every day from Thanksgiving through Christmas!
At this point, I should make you aware that Santa’s suit is a “suit.” It is not an outfit; women wear outfits.
The color “red” is not important. Men do not consider red to be a sissy color (like pink). Several really masculine, manly men wear red. Look at Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball, Drew Bledsoe and the New England Patriots or Jake Plummer and the Arizona Cardinals in football, or Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in basketball (okay, so Rodman of the Bulls isn’t manly, I’ll give you that one).
Sometimes, Santa is seen in a long, flowing red robe. He only wears this to keep Mrs. Claus from complaining about his lounging around the house in his t-shirt and boxer shorts (with the obligatory hole in the back).
All parts of Santa’s clothing are worn for a reason and are functional. Clothing worn for the sake of appearance only does not serve a purpose. Let’s look next at three items of Santa’s suit that would never be worn by a woman, as they are functional and not frilly. We’ll examine his hat, his boots, and his gloves.
If Santa were a woman, he would not wear a hat that kept his head and ears warm. A woman would wear something that had to pinned to the top of her head to keep it from blowing off. A woman would wear a hat with flowers or useless, decorative mesh that served no purpose. A woman’s hat would include the name of the designer embroidered across it in bold letters. Santa’s hat is functional and women do not wear functional hats!
Yes, the man does wear gloves. These gloves, however, are work gloves that have the side benefit of keeping his hands warm. He is having to drive a team of animals, climb up and down sooty chimneys, and carry and assemble sacks full of toys. A woman’s dainty white linen gloves or Isotoners would get dirty and ruined before the reindeer left the stable. A woman would have to from “keeping warm” fur lined gloves at the North Pole to driving gloves in the sleigh to cute little gloves with the fur lining that matched her outfit when she was unloading presents in the homes. Once again, Santa’s gloves, like all men’s, serve a purpose.
His boots are also functional. They are your basic black leather work boot with regular heels. They provide him traction on slick surfaces and protect and insulate his feet. A woman’s boots would have long, skinny heels that would poke holes through roofs. They would have slick bottoms that would not prevent slips and falls. They would be of soft leather and would not stand up to the elements. She wouldn’t be able to walk through the barn to harness the reindeer because she might get droppings on the boots and this would be unacceptable (and icky). Sliding down a chimney might cause scuff marks. Strike three for the clothing, the boots are functional and have to be a man’s.
Santa’s suit is a completely functional unit. Since it works and has worked for hundreds of years, he hasn’t changed a thing.
ACCESSORIZING: Santa wears a big red suit with a hat, gloves, boots, and a belt. He does not accessorize. What woman would not add a cute wreath brooch or Frosty the Snowman earrings at Christmas time? Where do we find the necklace with little silver or gold birthstone bellies representing the nine reindeer on St. Nick? Where is his Gucci handbag? He doesn’t have them, just as there are no bracelets under his gloves or tennis bracelet around his ankle.
FACIAL APPEARANCE: Santa is described as having “cheeks like roses,…nose like a cherry.” A woman would make sure she went to the powder room to cover these skin imperfections and blemishes with the proper make-up.
WEIGHT: Santa has no problems with his spare tire, generally referred to as his “bowl full of jelly.” He knows that most men of his time have a middle age spread. He also recognizes that it comes from all of the milk and cookies that the kids leave him. The occasional snack of stocking stuffer candy doesn’t help much either. A female Santa would want celery sticks and carrot juice from the kids and would leave high protein carob snacks and yogurt balls in the stockings. She would also eat all of the chocolate before it could ever hit the stockings.
THE ROUTE: Santa does not need a map or directions. He’s done the route for hundreds of years and has it memorized. He just hits every house in the world. If he isn’t sure whether or not he got one, he just looks for the sled tracks and hoof prints on the roof. If he requires a road map for new neighborhoods or subdivisions, Santa, like all men, can easily read and re-fold one correctly. He’s always got the new Rand McNally road atlas under the seat in the sleigh.
THE BAG OF TOYS: There are a few points here. The first is that the male Santa can pack a bag. He just shoves everything he needs into it and he is ready to go. He knows that everything does not have to be ironed or folded properly before going in a suitcase, and the same thing applies here. There are not many ways to neatly fold a ten speed! This process takes him all of a few minutes. He doesn’t have to stare at his inventory of toys for hours deciding what to take; he knows what goes and grabs it quickly (he’s already made his list and checked it twice).
Santa also puts it all in one bag. A woman needs several bags and all of them are generally small, tear easily, and will not fit inside of each other. A woman needs a man to carry all of these bags for her so that she can keep her hands free.
SHOPPING AND THE MALL: Much was written in the original report on the poor shopping habits of men. Santa does not have to go shopping, he builds his gifts. What he doesn’t build, he contracts out to Elves Local #332.
When he does go shopping for his construction supplies, he shops like a man. He walks straight into the store he wants, picks up just what he needs, pays for it, and leaves. He’s back to the sleigh in ten minutes, tops. He doesn’t have to see how many mall stores have the same item in different styles or colors or how many other people in the mall are also wearing it. He doesn’t have to visit the mall Starbuck’s for an expresso. He doesn’t spend an hour checking out the fragrances at the cosmetics counter. He doesn’t stand in the women’s wear section of Dillard’s with a friend saying “that would look so cute on you but would make my hips look fat.”
A female Santa could not sit for an eight hour shift in one spot in the mall. She’d be sitting with a kid on her lap telling her how he wanted a Furbie and dump him the minute she heard the announcement about the flashing blue light special in cosmetics. She also wouldn’t like the location of Santa’s Workshop in most stores: between toys and tools or between toys and sporting goods.
The male Santa, however, enjoys this location. He can eye that new garage door opener he’s been wanting for the reindeer barn on the aisle next to him. He can check out the new set of golf clubs he’s been wanting to buy to lower his handicap when the line of kids are taken care of and be back quickly in his seat for the next child. He can check out and flirt with the girls in the fur mini-skirts who take the over-priced polaroids of the kids in his lap. He even gets a charge out of setting these scantily clad girls in his lap (remember, Mrs. Claus is thousands of miles away and something has to keep him jolly).
GIFT SELECTION: If Santa were a female, we would all receive socks, underwear, t-shirts, and cute little outfits for Christmas. Santa, however, brings BB guns (You’ll shoot your eye out!), bicycles, GI Joe’s (with kung-fu grip) , footballs, toy trains, model rockets, remote control cars, and other things that only other guys could pick out. The only clothing that he even bothers to distribute is very specialized. This includes hats (cowboy and pirate), helmets (football or space), gloves (baseball), belts (tool or cowboy style with holsters), and suits (spacesuits, karate suits, and football uniforms).
THE SHOPPING LIST AND GIFT EXCHANGES: According to one of the Christmas carols, Santa is “makin’ a list, and checkin’ it twice. Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…” Three parts of this song point directly to the male-ness of Kris Kringle.
Santa checks his list twice because he knows that sometimes, formerly naughty children become nice and deserve more than just lumps of coal. A female Santa would not do this. Every man in the world is reminded at least monthly by his wife and his mother of everything he has ever done wrong in his entire life. Does his Dad remind him? No, Dads and other men don’t carry grudges and judgments to the grave. Mom, however, will remind you to her dying day of the time you said her fruitcake tasted like baked bricks, called Aunt Thelma fat, and gave out free beers outside of the Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting. In fact, she’ll mention these in her will.
Santa also makes a list. Women don’t make lists, they go “shopping.” Any trip to any store or mall is an excuse to wander all of the aisles (at least twice each) and check out all of the sales. As the comedian Gallagher says, “Women are the only people who can save you money buying s__t!”
The third part of the song lyric that proves his maleness also deals with the idea of “checkin’ it twice.” Santa doesn’t just check to see if any kids have mended their ways, he also checks to make sure he’s picked out the right item for each child. No woman would ever doubt that she has picked the right gift the first time out. All men have experienced the fury of a mother/wife/sister/girlfriend who find out that we have exchanged a gift from them. If it doesn’t fit, they say it is because we gained or lost weight. If it’s broken, it’s because we dropped it. If it’s ugly or just looks stupid, it’s because we don’t appreciate them. Men have learned to live with ugly and ridiculous presents. That is why most of our ties look stupid; our wives and daughters pick them out for us. What man in his right mind would ever choose paisley? We all think that paisleys look like giant amoebas.
Women, on the other hand, return perfectly good gifts because it gives them a chance to go back to the malls and shop some more. They also return gifts just to spite other women.
Santa admits to his imperfections at gift giving the first time around (by having to check twice) and therefore must be a man. The fact that he admits to any imperfection involving any decision he makes (without having to blame it on a man) must also obviously point to his gender.
ASSEMBLY: When Santa hauls the bicycles, Barbie gadgets, wagons, doll houses, etc. down the chimney, he must assemble them. He uses his screwdrivers, ratchet set, and other tools to put these toys and games together. If Santa were female, she’d have to haul along a couple of elves to put the things together so that she could look over their shoulders at the directions and tell them that they were doing it wrong.
PIPE: Santa smokes a pipe. These generally give off a noxious odor. Most men who smoke pipes are forced out of their homes and onto the porch by their wives. Santa has never been pictured smoking Virginia Slims or using a cigarette holder.
THE CHIMNEY: That old chimney on the roof poses a definite problem. In it, he will get dirty. If a female Santa gets dirty, she be in a snit for thirty minutes before heading home to change clothes. This would limit her to only half a dozen houses world wide if she had to run to the North Pole each time between deliveries (and only if she didn’t have to change her hair and make-up each time she changed clothes-if she does, only two houses on the planet are gonna wake up happy).
If she breaks a nail, it is even worse. She has to find an all-night salon for a new manicure and then has to phone at least three other women to complain (and you know which house would not be getting any gifts next year).
When she does get to the bottom of the chimney, she would not be satisfied leaving the gifts under the tree in the living room. Nope, she would have to check out and compare all of the home furnishings. Everyone in the house would be awakened as she came into their rooms to inspect their curtains and bedding. The china and silver patterns in the kitchen and dining areas would be deeply scrutinized as well as the color of the towels, shower curtain, and bath matts in the bathrooms. Has Santa ever woken you up to see if your sheets matched your curtains or to tell you he wasn’t giving you anything because you missed the hamper with your dirty socks?
REINDEER: Please note the names that Santa uses for his reindeer. No woman would name any pet or farm animal Blitzin’. They don’t even know what a blitz is! They couldn’t tell you the difference between a linebacker, corner, or safety blitz as they don’t know what a linebacker, cornerback, or safety is. They only reason they watch football is to check out John Elway’s behind or Troy Aikman’s hair or to see if Steve Young is still single. Women still go for the quarterbacks and don’t know offense, defense, or special teams. In fact, they think that special teams are teams that do nice things for each other.
There is a token female reindeer named Vixen. The only reason she is on the team is to meet quotas from the EEOC and Affirmative Action.
Dasher, Donner, Rudolph (Rudy), and Comet are studley names for three macho reindeer. Cupid, while sounding sissy, was already pointed out as being named for an armed man. These names, with the possible exception of Cupid, had to have been picked out by a man.
The other two reindeer are the openly gay Prancer and the questionable Dancer (note that Prancer is behind Dancer in their line-up). While Santa himself is not gay (there is a Mrs. Claus), he is not averse to hiring homosexuals if they pull their weight on the job and use separate bathrooms. The only gays that women ever hire are hairdressers and manicurists.
There are no reindeer named Fluffy, Lil’ Puddin”, Sweetie Pie, or Teacup. These four would, of course, be team members if Santa were a woman.
Santa also uses a whip to direct his team. Many famous men have used whips in their work: Indiana Jones, Zorro, etc. The only women who use whips also tend to dress in leather and not in red suits (though both wear black boots). Santa is not a dominatrix!
As Santa is traditionally thought to be Scandinavian, we must look at the role of the reindeer in their culture. The Lapps do not hunt their reindeer; they domesticate them as we do our cattle. They are the source of milk, butter, and cheese for this people. For St. Nick to track and stalk a reindeer would by comparable to an American hiding in a deer blind to shoot Bossy the cow. Besides that, a reindeer rack really wouldn’t go good in his den with all of the stuffed cat trophies on his walls (lions, tigers, bobcats, siamese, jaguars, cougars, lynx, etc.).
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: We all remember the song about Mommy kissing the man in the big red suit underneath a sprig of mistletoe. Does this imply that Santa and Mommy are actually gay? This would also make Mrs. Claus into a dyke. I don’t think so. Remember, Santa keeps track of who the naughty girls are for a reason!
TIME: Santa visits every house in the world to bring presents to all of the good little boys and girls. Santa does not arrive fashionably late or demand not to be the first one there. If he waited until after someone else showed up, most kids wouldn’t get their Christmas presents until after the Easter Bunny got to their house. A few lucky ones who lost teeth between Christmas Eve and Easter would get their Christmas presents earlier because Santa could come in after the Tooth Fairy. Besides, he wants to finish his deliveries and be home for the NFL playoffs.
FINAL PROOF: True and undeniable proof of the gender of Santa Claus can be found in the words of an eyewitness. His experience is quoted in the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Let me quote you a line just to refresh your memory: “He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.”
On that note, I rest my case.