Who Says Santa Claus Has to Be White?

PHOTO: In this Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Dee Sinclair, portraying Santa Claus, reads a story to children in Atlanta. "Kids dont see color. They see a fat guy in a red suit giving toys," says Sinclair.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus ... we just can't agree on his race.

From cable news to the hallways of a New Mexican public school, good tidings of great joy have been replaced with a debate on whether Santa Claus is white.

Everyone pretty much agrees on the red suit, a reasonably modern invention, and the belly that shakes like "a bowlful of jelly." But some people (some white people, anyway) insist that the Turkey-born patron of children, thieves and pawnbrokers (that's the real St. Nicholas) is as white as the snow on which he grounds his sleigh.

Here then, are just a few of the many faces of Santa, a group as diverse as the children who believe that as certainly as reindeer can fly, "Love and generosity and devotion exist."

PHOTO: In this Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Dee Sinclair, portraying Santa Claus, reads a story to children in Atlanta. Kids dont see color. They see a fat guy in a red suit giving toys, says Sinclair.
John Bazemore/AP Photo
In this Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Dee Sinclair, portraying Santa Claus, reads a story to children in Atlanta. "Kids don't see color. They see a fat guy in a red suit giving toys," says Sinclair.

PHOTO: South Korean senior volunteers, clad in Santa Clause costumes, pose for a picture during a chairty event on December 15, 2009.
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images
South Korean senior volunteers, clad in Santa Clause costumes, pose for a picture during a chairty event on December 15, 2009.

PHOTO: An Indian man and a pair of children dressed as Santa Claus ride a motorcycle along a street of Ahmedabad, December 21, 2006.
Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images
An Indian man and a pair of children dressed as Santa Claus ride a motorcycle along a street of Ahmedabad, December 21, 2006.

PHOTO: Reflected in a mirror, a public bus driver dressed as Santa Claus gives a passenger directions on Dec. 18, 2013, in Taipei, Taiwan.
Wally Santana/AP Photo
Reflected in a mirror, a public bus driver dressed as Santa Claus gives a passenger directions on Dec. 18, 2013, in Taipei, Taiwan.

PHOTO: A man dressed as Santa Claus rides his bicycle with other hundreds along the streets of Cali, Colombia, on December 12, 2010 in a failed attempt to break the previous Guinness record of 12,000 people riding bikes dressed as Santa Claus.
Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images
A man dressed as Santa Claus rides his bicycle with other hundreds along the streets of Cali, Colombia, on December 12, 2010 in a failed attempt to break the previous Guinness record of 12,000 people riding bikes dressed as Santa Claus.

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