By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed.
It is that time of the year as many parents are taking their children to take pictures with Santa Claus. The lines have been long at the mall, but if you do go to the mall, there is one thing you won’t find there, and that is Black Santa! This past weekend the Acres Homes Chamber was filled with many parents and their children as they stood in line to take with pictures with Black Santa and Mrs. Claus.
This is the second year for the event, and this event is put in place to connect with our community and culture. After Hurricane Harvey left many without and in despair, The African American News and Issues Newspaper, the Acres Homes Chamber for Business and Economic Development, and numerous sponsors, wanted to give back to the community. Although this event could not provide everything that family’s need, they wanted to be able to put a smile on the children’s faces by gracing them with the presence of Santa and Mrs. Claus. In addition to taking pictures with Santa, the kids were able to receive a free toy while supplies lasted.
Christmas only comes once every year, and it is a time that many people can’t wait to celebrate the joyous occasion. Even Santa and Mrs. Claus have been patiently awaiting the event and were thrilled to meet all of the children. Mrs. Claus took numerous pictures with different kids and expressed, “This is the most exciting time of the year for Santa and I. To see all the smiles on all the children’s faces was so amazing.”
Brandi Jones, a parent who attended the event was very excited to have her children take pictures with Black Santa. Jones wanted her children to experience what is was like to take pictures with a Santa Claus who looks just like them. She expressed, “I want them to know that Santa comes in all shades…you don’t see it when you go to the mall, and I wanted them to see a representation of their skin tone.” Jones is looking forward to spending a lot of time with family and just celebrating Jesus’ birthday this holiday season.
It was Khadijah Robinson’s very first time to the event, and she was very happy with how everything turned out. She illustrated, “This is our very first time hearing about this and we were very happy to take a picture with Black Santa, and we are going to make this a tradition out of this. We are here with the kids and proud to have fun. This is amazing and it’s more than what I expected.” Robinson came out to the event because she felt like this event was a true representation of Black people. She stated, “This is a good representation of the Black culture, and they’re giving a lot of things away to the kids. In this area, I really appreciate the fact that they are giving out toys to kids who may not receive toys or receive what they want for this Christmas.”
Jarvis and Jennifer Nichols were also excited to have their children take pictures with Black Santa. Jennifer expressed, “We wanted to support the cause and wanted our kids to take a picture with Black Santa. With so much going on in the world, you just want the kids to be able to identify with Santa. There is nothing wrong with traditional Santa, but it is always good for them to see a Santa that looks like them and they can relate to.” The Nichols family is looking forward to spending a lot of time with family this Christmas.
No matter how old you get, you are never too old to take a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Just take Clairissa Moore who came to take a picture with her mom. Clairissa is a police officer for the Houston Police Department, and she was not ashamed to let the big kid in her shine. Every year Moore takes a picture with her mom and Santa, and this year was no exception. She expressed, “We wanted to see the Black Santa. I’ve never seen a Black Santa before. When I saw this on Facebook, I knew I had to be here, and you’re giving back, and this is something positive.” Moore was in uniform when she took her pictures, but she made it known that she didn’t mind because it’s good for the community to see officers within the community having fun and helping out and not just fighting crime. With so much going on in the world today, it is imperative that the community knows that police officers are caring and really have a love for their community.
Crystal Wilson had already had her child take pictures with Santa Claus, but she wanted to expose her to one who looks like just her. Wilson stated, “She already had her picture taken with Santa Clause but it was with a Caucasian Santa, and I wanted to give her the opportunity being so young to see that there is a Santa Claus that looks like her.” Wilson is also looking forward to spending a lot of time with family this Christmas.
Black Santa was a huge success, and many people enjoyed their time taking pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, eating Christmas snacks, listening to music, and just having a good time with their community, friends, and family. It was a very positive event, and many people cannot wait until this event rolls around next year. Mrs. Claus expressed, “Our plans for next year will be bigger and better and we can’t wait.” If you did not get a chance to attend the event his year, you don’t want to miss next year as it will be a joy to attend. At the event, two families drove in from Louisiana and June James of The Hit Cartel flew in from Atlanta. It wasn’t just locals who were anticipating this event, it was people from all over.
In order to put on an event like this, there is a lot of planning that is requires, as well as a lot of support. Mrs. Claus would like to thank all of the sponsors would helped with the event. She expressed, “Thanks to our sponsors, we were able to service over 700 families with free gifts the day of the event. Santa and I will do pop ups around the community to distribute the remaining gifts and will service another 150 children.” A special thanks goes to mily Health & Wellness Center, Shirley Ann’s Black Kollectibles & Flowers, The Hit Cartel, Parents Against Predators, Suburban Sugar Land Women, RS Deer & Cattle Ranch, Sharon Burney for Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, Place 2, Vintage Horse Carriage, She’s Happy Hair, State Representative Jarvis Johnson, District 139, Liberty Tax (601 N. Victory Dr Houston, Tx 77088), Hartz Chicken Buffet (Pinemont) and all of the volunteers African American Photographers Association This event would not have been a great success without the support and love from out own community.
“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.”
Thomas S. Monson