Do-gooders and political correctness nuts have gone too far, having attacked Santa Claus and the Christmas tradition. For hundreds of years, jolly Santa has slaved away each year, prodded (nicely) his elves to get all those toys completed on time, and checked his naughty and nice list twice. On Christmas Eve, he has managed without fail to circle the globe and visit every home. His "ho ho ho!" resounds through the night, while his belly jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. Yet some have now suggested that an overweight Santa portrays an unhealthy image for kids. Equally ridiculous, "ha ha ha!" may be preferential to "ho ho ho!" because the latter term denotes a prostitute in American slang.
Let's face it: It comes down to mom and dad's eating habits, not Santa's, which have a far greater influence on kids. Regardless of the trend among many First World countries to produce obese children, which in turn creates alarming health problems, few kids express the desire to have a spare tire to emulate Santa. Parents and educators should assume greater responsibility for the diets of the young, and understand that healthy choices should be advocated as well as practiced.
Equally troublesome are the attacks on Santa's laugh. Although "ho" may have negative connotations, only an adult would understand the reference. What's more, it's American slang, so kids (and possibly adults) elsewhere in the world won't likely understand all the fuss. If a child still gives credence to the big guy, then it seems unlikely there will be any association apart from a very distinct laugh.
Will this madness never end? Leave Santa Claus's sacrosanct weight and laugh alone.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "political correctness" for 2 minutes. Spend another 5 minutes or less discussing the words and ideas together.
Questions: Answer the questions to check comprehension.
- According to the article, what does Santa Claus do all year?
- What have some people suggested for Santa?
- According to the article, who is responsible for obese children?
- What should parents and educators do for obese children?
- Who will understand the negative reference of Santa's laugh?
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- What do you think of political correctness? How about in this instance? Why?
- What would you do if Santa's image were changed? Why?
- If Santa's image were modernized, would it somehow change Christmas? Why/not?
- Do you agree that parents and educators should assume more responsibility for children's health?
- Which has a greater influence on children, parents, educators, or the media? Why do you think so?
Google Search: Type "Santa Claus" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.