One quarter of respondents in a poll reckon Santa should be rebranded as female or gender neutral – but not everyone agrees with the concept.
Many will always think of Father Christmas a jolly white-bearded fellow with a penchant for wearing red and eating treats left beside the chimney.
But now people are wondering whether Santa needs an update for modern times, as one company has offered the possibility of Father Christmas becoming a gender neutral person.
GraphicSprings, a logo creation company, polled 400 people from the US and UK about potential ways to modernise Santa, using the top suggestions to poll a further 4,000 people on how they envision him.
In total over one quarter (27 per cent) of respondents reckon he should be rebranded as female or gender neutral, according to 6 ABC.
Over on social media the results of the survey have had mixed reactions, with some claiming the idea is “ridiculous”, while others don’t understand the point in arguing over a made up character.
Santx; the gender neutral Santa
— H. R. Buttigiger (@BARFENEMA) December 8, 2018
Santa isn’t real. Thinking Santa should be female or gender neutral is no more moronic than thinking he should be male.
— Kevin Shane (@kevintshane) December 14, 2018
I'm all for equality but the idea that we should make Santa gender neutral or female is ridiculous! You cannot change history – St Nicholas, the guy who started the whole stocking hanging thing was a man!! #Christmas
— Jane Dickinson (@janiedmbe) December 13, 2018
But given Santa Claus is a fictional character designed simply to make Christmas fun for the kids, does it really matter what’s underneath his signature red outfit?
The issue of what gender Santa should be has taken on a new significance in recent times, as people on social media and even politicians are taking a stance on the issue.
Arun Chandran, an Independent councillor for Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, moved to ban female Santa Claus impersonators from taking part in an annual winter parade last month, after two women volunteered for the job.
He said that the concept of a female Santa Claus was “a form of political correctness,” adding that it was “a male role”, according to Metro.
Piers Morgan also chimed in on the subject, saying on Good Morning Britain in response to the story last month: “He’s called Father Christmas! … The world’s gone nuts.”
Negative opinions on the matter hasn’t stopped some people moving forward with a different take on the traditionally male character.
Ponsonby Central, a shopping complex in Auckland, New Zealand, unveiled a Santa Claus modelled on Mary Poppins, complete wearing knickers and fishnet stockings last month.
According to Stuff.co.nz, the staff at Ponsonby Central and Blunt said their representation of Santa can be Mary Poppins or whatever race/ gender/ persuasion they prefer.