Outrage of the Week: Saving Children From Mrs. Santa Claus!

I don’t know if this is quite the right expression but: Oy vey! A town in North Carolina has BANNED MRS. CLAUS from its  X-mas parade. Why?

To quote the local News Observer: “…John Odom, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, which runs the parade, said it’s confusing for children to see two people in Santa suits. He said it’s a policy that only Santa may wear the official outfit.”

That’s right: it is too CONFUSING to kids to see a lady in a red, Santa-like outfit. Which, for the record, is a DRESS. Is the local Mr. Claus wearing a red dress, too? Perhaps there’s some other kind of confusion going on.

My favorite line in the story is this: “It was unclear how common youthful confusion of Santa and Mrs. Claus might be, and what harm might result from the misapprehension.”

But hey — better safe than Santa! — Lenore

68 Responses

  1. That is literally the most bizarre thing I have ever heard of.

  2. wow – I’m pretty much blown away by this one – completely absurd!

  3. The world is a very bizarre place.

  4. Well, whatever happens, we wouldn’t want the children’s parents to actually have to explain anything to the kids!!
    Beware of things that could cause conversation between children and their parents!!!

  5. This John Odom guy must have been pretty traumatized by a Mrs. Clause in his childhood. This is really the most bizarre decision, that seems like it was one or two people that got their panties in a bunch, and now are ruining the fun for everyone else. No Mrs. Clause? How absurd!

  6. LOL, that’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. Will this town ban half of the classic Christmas cartoons because they feature Mrs. Claus? What about The Santa Claus 2, which is all about how he has to find a wife?

    Maybe they’re going to ban wives as being too confusing? Or women?

  7. Can we make jokes about the education system in N Carolina not doing their job now? As I remember, they’re towards the bottom in state funding for education, maybe they should spend more resources on kids…then they won’t need to be so worried about whether the kids are smart enough to figure out Mr and Mrs Claus. Intervention now can prevent the kinds of problems we se now from the product of said system who, hopefully, graduated a few years back and now appear to be as dumb as a box of rocks.

  8. I hope there isn’t a Santa Con in this town. The poor children!!

  9. LOL….wow….

    Aren’t I happy that both my man and I decided to not do the Xmas thing anymore. Looks like my son isn’t going to miss much, first “Ho ho ho” is derogatory to women, now having Mrs. Clause is too much for kids to handle. What’s next, reindeers pulling a sleigh is animal cruelty, elves are being exploited, and Santa promotes obesity =oP

  10. And I thought South Carolina was the state breaking under the weight of their politicians and beauty queens. Clearly I had discounted North Carolinians!

  11. $@%!&%$!!!!!!!!

  12. My 12 year-old’s comment:

    Shouldn’t they ban the reindeer too. A child might confuse them with regular deer. For that matter a slightly tipsy man could too and then Rudolph could be on the dinner table.

    For the record we are from the rural South. We can joke about our own, I hope.

  13. My 4 and 5 year were nearby while I was reading this and then clicked to the link with the picture… the first thing they said, “Is that Santa’s wife?”

  14. Raleigh is no small town, it’s a million popln capital. So we can’t blame small town mindedness.

    Next up… please don’t wear Santa hats and confuse children who might approach you and then get abducted.

    Also, all older men with bushy beards should stay home or shave it off. Because, again, you might attract kids. So you might be accused of baiting kids.

    And to be safe, let’s go ahead and imprison every applicant for that mall Santa job. Men who want little kids in their lap? The needle is too good for them. Let’s burn them. Just to be safe.

  15. Also, all older men with bushy beards should stay home or shave it off. Because, again, you might attract kids. So you might be accused of baiting kids.

    My father, who did look a lot like Santa, really did attract kids. The kids in our neighborhood would see him and *run* either to him or to his parents, shouting “Papa Natale! Papa Natale!” at the top of their lungs. Or if we were out and about, little kids would very conspicuously behave better when they saw him (I don’t recall this, being young myself at the time, but my mother says it’s true), because – hey! Santa!

  16. It seems to me that if you’re intentionally lying to children about the existence of Santa, reducing confusion isn’t your biggest priority in the first place.

  17. This is hilarious. In our town, the fire department drives around with a couple of engines and a truck pulling a wagon, all decorated for the holiday, with firefighters and their wives/friends dressed as all different characters. There’s Santa, of course, and Mrs. Claus, Rudolf, Frosty… but also the Cat in the Hat and Scooby Do. I guess they have the costumes so why not use ’em? They make stops around town and give out candy canes to the kids and pose for pictures. No child has ever run crying to his or her parents in confusion over the presence of Scooby, much less Mrs. Claus. I guess we have smart kids in these parts.

  18. It seems to me that if you’re intentionally lying to children about the existence of Santa, reducing confusion isn’t your biggest priority in the first place.

    Look, I’m always up for a good flamewar, but can we not do this right now? It’s just going to be “No, it’s not lying, it’s pretend!” and “You’re a lying liar who lies!’ back and forth all day, and 352 people are going to line up and swear they felt SOOPER grown-up when they found out about santa and another 296 will swear they’re still in counseling about the betrayal, and about a dozen and a half other folks will say they’re Jewish/Muslim/Wiccan/Atheist and don’t get why anybody cares. And then the people who do Santa will say those of us who don’t are evil and hate kids, and the ones who don’t do Santa will talk about how those who do are stupid and immature, and honestly, I’ve done this game for the past 4 years running.

    It’s boring by now. Let’s talk about something fresh and new!

  19. Darn. And I’m sure all the drag queens in Raliegh were lining up to be Mrs. Claus this year . . .

  20. Uly, that was funny…. and exactly how it would end up, I’m sure.

  21. I only wish I’d remembered to mention that one person who always posts about how over-the-top they do Santa… to the point where even if you’re all about the Santa it sounds a little creepy.

    “And we make footprints on the stairs, and our kids put out an elf trap that we carefully leave notes under – and don’t forget our Elf on the Shelf for Advent! – and we pay neighbors to write letters from Santa so it’s not our handwriting, and we walk on the roof jingling bells at precisely 11:58 PM, and we leave little chocolate “reindeer poop” on the beds, and we take 3.26 sips of milk and a bite from each cookie, and the kids make reindeer food, and….”

  22. Look, I’m always up for a good flamewar, but can we not do this right now?

    Oh no, I didn’t mean to start a flamewar. I think it’s great to tell kids about Santa, and we should continue doing it, along with Mrs. Claus. I was just trying to point out the irony. If kids can handle the idea of a magical man that brings them gifts, I can think they can handle the idea of him having a wife who wears similar clothing to him. Sorry for the confusion.

  23. There was a joke (from Reader’s Digest, I think):

    One year, a kid decides to leave Santa some milk, cookies, and a beer. The next morning, the milk was mostly gone, the cookies mostly eaten, and the beer half drank. The kid says, “Well, dad can’t be Santa, because he would have drunk the beer all gone.”

    Now, that’s reasoning!

  24. Uly – love it. I’m going to try the chocolate reindeer poop🙂

    I’ve never personally got into the big Santa thing, especially the Mrs Claus and all the reindeer, but I can’t fathom why a municipality would ban Mrs. Claus in this way. Are they just looking for some publicity?

  25. LOL, Uly!

  26. Helen, I swear, it’s a contest to see which ‘leader’ can be the most clueless and idiotic in their ‘protection’…

  27. Wow… maybe they are trying to cut the budget and needed a reason? If so, that is the lamest reason I’ve ever heard of…

  28. Right, Raleigh, NC is not a small town. There’s got to be some weird politics involved here.

    @Ali, as a North Carolinian I’m as enthusiastic as the next person at criticizing our public education, but for the record, we’re 40th in per-pupil spending, statewide, not 50th — it’s not much, but it’s something. And in point of fact, Wake County (where Raleigh is located) is generally seen as having good public schools (and the school system is also not small; it’s the 18th largest school district in the US!); Wake is one of the NC districts that consistently scores above national averages on standardized tests and has become known for its (controversial) practice of using busing to maintain district-wide economic integration such that no more than 40% of any school’s student body is low-income. (The results of this year’s school board election are expected to result in moving away from that policy).

  29. Wow. My five-year-old daughter must be an genius! She saw Mrs Claus at the mall on the weekend and recognised her straight away!

  30. Wow… maybe they are trying to cut the budget and needed a reason? If so, that is the lamest reason I’ve ever heard of…

    That doesn’t make sense, though. Surely they already *have* the costumes? I guess it’s one less person to pay, but do they pay their paraders anyway?

    Oh no, I didn’t mean to start a flamewar. I think it’s great to tell kids about Santa, and we should continue doing it, along with Mrs. Claus. I was just trying to point out the irony. If kids can handle the idea of a magical man that brings them gifts, I can think they can handle the idea of him having a wife who wears similar clothing to him. Sorry for the confusion.

    I know you didn’t mean to, but years of posting online have taught me one very important lesson:

    There is nothing – NOTHING – that riles people up more than The Santa Debate. Believe it or not, there are people in this world who are less offended by being told that formula is poison, or that circumcision indicates an unhealthy interest in your child’s parts; than by being told that they lie to their kids.

    Breastfeeding, circumcision – they’ve got NOTHING on Santa Wank. And it always starts with one innocent person who has no idea what sort of minefield they’re stepping into, saying the magic words “lie” or “fun”. (Even if they don’t mean anything by it! Even if it’s obvious to everybody else they didn’t mean anything by it!)

    I don’t get it, but there we go.

  31. In fact, given that it’s always started by the naive (or, this time, me, but hopefully a good dose of mocking has headed any serious flaming off at the pass), I guess we could say that nobody really expects the Santa Inquisition.

  32. It’s amazing how little credit we (society) give kids to be able to figure things out and understand them.

  33. Uly wins the comment trophy on this thread hands down.

  34. I’m surprised they even allow Santa at all… isn’t that a little too religion-specific?

  35. (note: tongue planted firmly in cheek)

  36. “Parade officials even discourage people from wearing Santa hats, Odom said.”

    Well, there you go. It must be some kind of bureaucratic power trip.

  37. Santa Wank!😄 Uly wins the Internet today!😀

  38. What do they do about all the Salvation Army Santas on every other street corner?
    Wouldn’t want to “confuse” the kids with more than one Santa.

  39. What is wrong with the kids in this town that they don’t think they can understand the concept of Mrs. Claus?

  40. With apologies to DairyStateDad, I think I’m in love with Uly. I barely avoided spitting Diet Coke all over the keyboard just now.

  41. Why, thank you! You can just give that internet to me right here.

  42. How about we just stop confusing kids with Santa in general?

  43. NO!

  44. And wasn’t Santa Claus a bishop anyways that could not legally marry as he vowed to live in celibacy? Maybe that is the real reason, there cannot be a Mrs Santa… because he is a clergy men. Mmmh….

  45. The problem may be, though I don’t know concretely, of course, that if one business float has a Mrs. Claus, then another will follow suit (ha! see what I did there? suit? sorry…) next year, and soon you have ten Santa Clauses and ten of his wives.

    Makes a little headcase for the three-year-old whose parents don’t want to spill the secret just yet.

    I know it’s the going rule in my town, and always has been, and that’s the reason. The “Santa” title is given to some respected person chosen for the year, and no one else is supposed to have him on the float simply to help avoid duplicates.

    I don’t get the hat thing, at all though… even all the bank tellers wear hats… WTF is wrong with that? Like your kid can’t see that they sell Santa hats at Wal-Mart.

    On a sidenote (and in a marginally-related addition to the “Santa’s great and/or evil” discussion that’s bound to ensue)…

    I found out the truth about Santa quite a few years after I learned how to read well. Do you know how STUPID I felt when I read the cardboard displays at the supermarket advertising “Stocking Stuffers”, and realized that they’d probably ALWAYS said that?! 🙂

  46. “I barely avoided spitting Diet Coke all over the keyboard just now.”

    CRAP. I didn’t. 😛

  47. I don’t even know what to say.

    Sandy

  48. What is with people thinking kids are morons now a days. I know my kids aren’t confused about Mrs. Claus. Even my 3yo gets it.

    If that confuses kids maybe they need to stop mall Santas because that’s the one thing that really confuses kids…how can Santa be at every mall at the same time? CONFUSING!

    Of course the one time my kids actually got a pic with Santa (at a Wal-mart) my oldest, then 6, leaned over to me and says, “that wasn’t the real Santa and I think it was a girl.” I cracked up.

  49. Sad. John Odom and the people who made up this ridiculous rule are the confused ones in all this. Kids already know Santa is married, so they’ll hardly bat an eyelash.

    Even worse, they feel the need to instigate rules before they know how uncommon the confusion is and what harm it doesn’t do.

    PLEASE do your research before you act.

  50. What an odd rule. And here I thought the existence of Mrs. Claus was common knowledge.

  51. Would love to be a ‘fly on the wall’ when the Santa-wife-less parade goes by…

    Kid: “Daddy, where is Santa’s wife? She was with Santa last year.”

    Daddy: “Uh, there’s no Santa’s wife this year honey.”

    Kid: “Santa got DIVORCED?!!!”

  52. Around here, it’s customary for the members of the Goldwing Motorcycle Club and their wives to dress alike. Should we talk to them about the confusion they are causing? LOL

  53. Uly – that was the best laugh I’ve had all day. Thank you.🙂

  54. Wow! They must think the kids in North Carolina are STUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUpid! I could definately tell the difference between Mrs. Claus and Santa claus at a very young age. Give the kids some credit.

  55. Just change the song to:

    “….Santa Confusion is coming to town…”

  56. Uly has been hilarious! Davonia too. I loved the warning to “Beware of things that could cause a conversation between children and their parents.” I am going to use. Love it!

    Really, we have to stop assuming our children are so stupid and so easily confused. My children never questioned the existence of Mrs. Claus. She was Santa’s wife and that was that. For that matter, I don’t remember any of my 6 siblings or myself ever questioning it either.

  57. I have never laughed this hard at a thread on here. Thanks guys, I can go to sleep happy now!

  58. You’d think they’d *encourage* Mrs Claus. After all, Santa’s pretty creepy as a bachelor. Old dude who dresses up, breaks into children’s houses, eats their food, and leaves presents? That’s like the ultimate in stranger danger.

  59. I’m with Sandy. What do you even say in response to this kind of stupidity?

  60. Given that this is North Carolina, maybe it’s the beard causing confusion.

  61. Ralphinjersey – are you saying that Santa is really gay?!? and that Mrs Claus is his beard?!? Well then it all makes sense now.

  62. […] has been picked up by national news outlets and garnered “Outrage of the Week” on Free Range Kids, where some commenters have taken the opportunity to denigrate all North Carolinians based on Mr. […]

  63. I was highly amused to see Raleigh, NC described as a “town”. Raleigh would proudly remind you that they are a real city, population 388,926 as of last count! Paranoid lunacy is by no means restricted to small towns! I love the responses here! I’ll send some to the Raleigh paper that broke the story.

  64. Any updates on this? I wonder if John Odom realizes how badly he’s patronized his voters.

  65. For the record, I just showed my 4 yr old the picture of Mrs Claus in the article and said “hey who’s this” and he said “Santa”. Oh dear. Off to therapy we go!!

  66. Harm?

    I’ve been sitting here trying to think of what harm they think pretend mrs. claus would do to children, and outside the flame-war-sparking “your parents have lied to you” that would presumably apply in equal measure to the man himself if you believe that, I’ve got nothing.

  67. […] Outrage of the Week: Saving Children From Mrs. Santa Claus! I don’t know if this is quite the right expression but: Oy vey! A town in North Carolina has BANNED MRS. CLAUS […] […]

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