Welcome and thank you for joining Ana’s Spoons, a feature co-hosted with Queer Sci Fi on the second Wednesday of the month. Today’s topic, as part of the holiday fun, focuses on our favorite holiday figure.
Mrs. Claus who?
Our Christmas lore is filled with references to her husband.
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
The examples are endless. In the season of Christmas, Santa Claus rules. In some cultures, it might be Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or St. Nicholas.
But what of the women? Or little girls, for that matter? A friend recently told me that Santa Clauses where she lived were not allowed to hold children in their laps. Kids can stand next to Santa, but no lap-sitting was allowed. Presumably, this was to reduce the chance of inappropriate touching. Perhaps a little girl might not feel as comfortable with a male figure, too, but that could be parental choice rather than a mandate.
Parents in recent years have debated whether Santa lore amounts to lying to children, and some say the trauma of finding out Santa isn’t real outweighs the positives. Others say the magic of Christmas includes believing in Santa as a child, and we shouldn’t take that magic away.
Either way, we focus on a man.
A few years ago, I went to a Christmas event with a friend. People waited to “visit Santa,” and the line went through the upstairs and downstairs of a cozy, well-decorated house. In the kitchen, Mrs. Claus wore her trademark apron, offered cookies, and got out of the way when I held up my camera.
“Oh, actually…can I take a picture of you?” I asked.
“Me?” Mrs. Claus paused in handing out cookies and gave a slow, startled smile. “You want a picture of me?” Apparently, no one had asked her before.
I took several photos and thanked her. “We all know who does the real work around here,” I said, and she grinned. Of course, she was holding a wooden spoon.
Not quite like the Mrs. Claus drawn by the incredibly talented Minelle for Ana’s Advent Calendar 2013, but a good, sturdy spoon nevertheless.
Incidentally, my very first publication was a short book called The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus. It’s been three whole years since I became an official professional author. :D Happy author-versary to me! In essence, Mrs. Claus spanks girls and boys to take them off the “naughty” list so they can enjoy Christmas.
In celebration, let’s discuss a few questions today.
- What female figures are celebrated in your December holiday traditions?
- If you celebrate Christmas, what (if any) have you heard about Mrs. Claus (Mother Christmas, etc.) in childhood and/or in teaching your own children?
- Some people have proposed that Santa is really a woman. What do you think about that?
- Here at Governing Ana, Mrs. Claus’ first name is Kristine (don’t try calling her that, though!)
If you are reading this on QSF, please join the discussion at governingana.wordpress.com, today and every day until December 25th! Participation will earn you prizes. :D