Heather over at I’m Not Hannah first alerted me to this outrageous piece of news. This year Australian Santas are being encouraged not to say : ‘Ho Ho Ho’ because it may be offensive to women, what with the unsavoury connotations and all. What the?
Really and truly, how many little kids or even their Mums are going to get upset with a few ho hos? Just because Santa says ‘Ho’ doesn’t mean he wants to begin moonlighting as your pimp. He’s Santa, for God’s sake! He has a round face and a little round belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly. What’s pimp-like about that? Wait a minute, don’t answer that!
My friend, Holly, who is the world’s biggest stirrer – invited me to come on an expedition with her and her four year old daughter. The purpose of the expedition – to determine whether or not the true blue Aussie Santa still says ‘Ho!’
Little Lucy was so excited to be seeing Santa. She had pigtails with pink ribbons and a summer dress with cherries on it. Her Hello Kitty bag was bulging with notes she’d written to Santa, except that she can’t write yet so all of the notes consisted of a series of loops, squiggles and love hearts. ‘Awwww, she is so cute,’ I thought. ‘How can Santa not say ‘Ho’ to her?’
The first Santa was very PC. Slightly underweight with glasses that hung loosely on his crooked nose. Lucy bounded up to him holding out one of her notes. ‘Hello, hello, hello,’ he said. Lucy told him what she wanted – a Cinderella dress with a crown and glass slippers. He smiled and said he was sure she was on his nice list. ‘Mewwy cwistmas, Santa,’ she lisped. ‘And a merrrrry Christmas to you,’ he said.
Holly and I exchanged glances. This was it. The moment of truth. Santa stood up and rang his bell. “Merrrrrry Christmas!’ he cried, a phrase usually followed with ‘Ho. Ho. Ho.’ He rang the bell again.
‘Ho Ho,’ said Holly. Santa smiled weakly and rang his bell. ‘Hello, hello, hello,’ he said before turning away. Definitely a no-ho.
The second Santa was a throwback to yesteryear. Jolly and plump with twinkling eyes and a booming, yet kindly voice. Straight away Holly and I knew he was a ho-er. He rang his bell. ‘Ho Ho Ho!’ he cried. ‘Merrrrry Christmas.’
The third Santa was very young. He looked like he’d just been spray tanned. ‘It’s Malibu Ken Santa,’ said Holly.
‘Let it snow, snow, snow,’ he cried, ringing his bell. Another no-ho.
The fourth Santa had potential, he really did. As soon as I saw him – chubby in all the right places, carrying out the Santa wink and turn of the head to perfection – I had high hopes he was a ho-er. Holly had been coaching Lucy, encouraging her to ask Santa to say ‘Ho.’ When she finished telling him she would like ducklings and baby bunnies for Christmas Lucy paused for dramatic effect and said: “My mummy would like you to say ‘Ho Ho Ho.’ She says it’s the secret Santa language. Will you say it Santa, will you?”
I could see Santa was between a rock and a hard place. The dilemma was causing him anguish. His lips formed the words, he squirmed in his seat, he twisted his beard between shaking fingers. ‘Santa has to go, go, go,’ he said, running in the direction of the staff toilets. Another no-ho, but I think we almost turned him, I really do.
So there you have it, the insidious nature of political correctness has permeated the most strait-laced guy in the world – Santa Claus – all red and jolly and cowering in the corner, too afraid to say ‘Ho.’ Seems like we need a revolution where 50 Cent is hired to make a training video for Aussie Santas. His catchprase? ‘Just say Ho.’ I couldn’t agree more. Say it like you mean it!