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Hum, Which Santa? A Family's Creative Challenge in a Culturally Diverse Household

A parent seeks advice on representing Santa in a multicultural family with adopted and fostered children of different ethnicities.

Hey MJ,

I'm part of a wonderfully diverse family and am looking for some advice on holiday representation. My husband and I, both white, have adopted three children – one biracial and two black – and we continue to foster children from various ethnic backgrounds. With the holidays approaching, I'm pondering how to represent Santa in our home.


We've embraced the availability of commercial black and brown Santas and have quite a few black Santa and elf decorations, including yard blow-ups. However, I'm wondering if we should also include white Santa figures to represent the full spectrum of our family's diversity.


Our children are still very young (ages 3, 2, and 2), so they're too young for in-depth discussions about Santa. We want to ensure that our holiday decor reflects our family's multicultural makeup and the diversity of the children we foster. Additionally, our first foster placements were indigenous, and we remain close with their family, incorporating indigenous traditions and decor into our home, including holiday items.


Any feedback on balancing these representations and making sure all members of our family feel included and represented during the holidays would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for your time and advice.


Warm regards,

Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

Navigating holiday representation in your beautifully diverse family is a commendable undertaking. Your intent to ensure that all members feel included and represented is key to fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation for diversity.


First, it's great that you have black and brown Santa and elf decorations, as they provide representation for your biracial and black children. To represent the full spectrum of your family's diversity, including white Santa figures is a thoughtful idea. This inclusive approach ensures that all ethnic backgrounds in your family are visually and symbolically honored in your holiday decor.


For your young children, the diverse representation in decorations will subtly impart the message of an inclusive and multicultural world. They may be too young for in-depth conversations, but the visual diversity will be a natural part of their holiday experience, laying the groundwork for more detailed discussions as they grow older.


In addition to Santa figures, consider incorporating elements that reflect indigenous cultures, especially given your close ties with your first foster placements and their family. This could include indigenous holiday decorations or incorporating traditions and stories from their culture into your holiday celebrations. This gesture not only honors their heritage but also enriches your family's holiday experience with diverse cultural practices.


Engage in finding decorations and holiday items that represent the various cultures in your family. This can be a fun activity for the whole family, encouraging everyone to learn and appreciate each other's backgrounds.


The beauty of your family lies in its diversity, and your holiday decorations can be a reflection of that. It's not about achieving perfect balance but about creating a warm, inclusive environment where every child feels seen and valued. Your efforts in doing so will undoubtedly contribute to a meaningful and memorable holiday season for your family.


Kenbe la,

MJ

ABOUT "HEY, MJ"

In 2020, the "Badass Black Girl" book series author M.J. Fievre began receiving correspondence from a varied audience, including parents, young adults, and teens. Fievre, an established author and speaker, is known for her insightful engagement with themes relevant to these demographics. The communication, primarily through Facebook or the Badass Black Girl inbox, revolves around topics covered in her books and public talks. These interactions display a rich tapestry of experiences and viewpoints, highlighting the author's impact on her readers.


“Hey, MJ” is a platform created to foster a meaningful connection between M.J. Fievre and her readers. It offers a forum for open dialogue, personalized advice, and the sharing of collective experiences. The platform's effectiveness is rooted in Fievre's expertise as an author and speaker. Her work, particularly in the "Badass Black Girl" series, showcases her deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by her audience. Her background as an educator and her commitment to empowering young voices further enhance her ability to offer relevant and empathetic responses.


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