For hundreds of years, Santa has been portrayed in the exact same way across every Christmas touchpoint: with one skin tone only. As a result, many children with darker skin tones have worried about Santa not visiting their homes over the holidays because he doesn’t look like them or the people in their families.
To solve this problem, three advertising industry friends—André Yumbla-Bell, Andrew Oliver and Eric Seenarine—created SantaDIYversity.com, a first-of-its-kind, open-source style, online Christmas toolkit for families of all backgrounds and skin tones. At SantaDIYversity.com parents can download free wrapping paper designs, greeting cards, gift tags, t-shirt templates, and other DIY decorations featuring a Santa with their family’s skin-tone(s), making the holiday season happier and more inclusive for all.
“As multicultural individuals whose family’s skin tones cover the spectrum, we wanted to create something that made everyone feel included during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year”, says Eric. “Children in our families have felt worried that Santa isn’t for them because his skin colour is different than theirs, so we knew we had to do something to address this hurtful narrative,” adds Andrew. “Our industry skills allowed us to create a toolkit that expands on Santa’s existing look, embracing all his existing magic to include all kids who might not relate to or identify with traditional Santa imagery,” says André.
The SantaDIYversity.com online toolkit includes:
- 8.5 x 11 wrapping paper template
- 11 x 17 wrapping paper template
- 3 greeting card designs
- Gift tags
- Cricut t-shirt and mug design template
The three friends hope that a project like this will impact society and, and at the very least, their own families, especially the young children in them. They explain that the purpose of this project is to embrace modern representation in a very traditional space. By sharing these design tools with the world using an “open-source” approach, they’re hoping to have a positive impact on as many families as possible. They didn’t see others doing much to make Santa and Christmas more diverse and inclusive, so they decided to do it themselves.
“This project was self-funded by the three of us,” says André. “We have no plans to monetize this offering, and are purposely launching it as an early gift to parents and families like ours who may feel underrepresented by the current Christmas machine.” —Vita Daily