The Surgeon General wants a thin Santa. “It is really important that the people who kids look up to as role models are in good shape, eating well and getting exercise. It is absolutely critical,” said acting U.S. Surgeon General Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson.
Christmas is about abundance and generosity. Thinness in our culture can’t represent abundance or generosity because it’s about limits – diet, control and struggle. Fat still does!
Apparently the Surgeon General would rather Santa not be a symbol of fat abundance and generosity, but rather a Scrooge-like thin man in a red suit. Probably not looking very happy because he’s hungry and on a diet. I have trouble visualizing smiling children sitting in his bony lap and looking up at him hopefully and thinking about lots of presents and delicious Christmas feasts.
This is Thomas Nast’s Santa Claus. He originated our classic Santa in the 19th century. His Santa is an image of abundance and good will.
And here is Arthur Rackhams’s illustration of a fashionably thin Scrooge from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
I’ll take Nast’s Santa and a generous and abundant holiday for all.
And if anyone leaves out “healthy snacks” like carrots for Santa on Christmas Eve, I bet they get coal in their stocking. He’ll probably give them to the reindeer.