Having previously established that Santa has to be magical (because the laws of physics prohibit a real Santa accomplishing successful toy delivery), we can turn to the question of Santa’s gender. One might question this on the grounds of Santa’s apparent historic maleness, but in counter I offer George Sand, Mulan and any number of Shakespeare plays.
One might also question this on the grounds of gender perhaps not applying to magical creatures, to which I reply that Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves seem pretty clear on the matter (although one can never really tell with Dwarves—all that hair and battle armor are quite concealing, and it’s poor form to actually ask).
In any event, like all “news” programs these days, I give you now, two opposing views on the matter of Santa’s gender. You decide.
Santa is a man!
It is precisely because Christmas is an “organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal” that Santa has to be a man. Delegation… that’s the key. Just imagine if a woman was trying to delegate all of those tasks and obligations to her underlings. Christmas would be as ambiguous as the spring equinox. Nobody would know what day of the year we were going to celebrate it on.
It takes a man to organize a commercial event as huge as Christmas. What with the ads, the parades, the football, and the basketball, the sheer immensity of the task would overwhelm most females. We’d have to plan football schedules around lunch instead of the other way around. Or worse yet… there might not be any football at all. [shudder] That’s a scary thought.
If Santa was a female, the toys might never be delivered. It would take a she Santa until New Year’s Eve to get dressed (for the third time) and out of the bathroom. And just try harnessing those reindeer with freshly painted nails. Never happen. Once she got underway, she’d be too busy talking on the cell phone to her girl friends to get all the way around the world to every girl and boy’s house in a single year, let alone a single night.
If Santa was female, the whole idea of gift giving would be unrecognizable. Everybody would get socks, or ties, or aftershave, or fuzzy slippers every year. There would be none of the noise-making, shoot ’em up, battery-operated windfalls that kids love. Bicycles would all come complete with helmets and knee pads. And training wheels so nobody could get hurt. Toy soldiers would be replaced by books on improving one’s self-esteem. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same.
I’ll tell you another reason why Santa has to be a man (and a football fan). Look at the names of his reindeer: Dasher, Comet, Blitzen… If those aren’t male names for football players, then I’m an elf!
Santa is a Woman!
I think Santa Claus is a woman… I hate to be the one to defy a 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. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. 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 a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped 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.
Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man:
- Men can’t pack a bag.
- Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red
- 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 “bowlful 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 characters are men:
- Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous; definite guy.
- Cupid flies around carrying weapons.
- Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.
Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test. But not St. Nick. Not a chance.
As with the previous attempt to bind Santa to mere physics, I think the attempt to bind Santa to mere gender is doomed to fail. Santa is more likely quantum and therefore both (and neither) man and woman!
And more importantly… isn’t there a little Santa in all of us? Well, there should be. Embrace your inner Santa and be a Santa! We’re not turning Japanese; we’re turning Santa Claus!