LIFESTYLE

In Multicultural America, Santa Comes In Many Shades And Races
Santa Claus may be popularly known as a white-bearded benefactor with Dutch-English origins, but multiethnic versions of Santa are making the rounds out there too — illustrating that in an increasingly diverse United States, Santa takes on whatever color you imagine him to be.  
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Pancho Claus throws presents as he arrives at a charity holiday event in a low-rider Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Houston. The Tex-Mex Santa grew out of the Chicano civil rights movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is sometimes referred to as Santa Claus cousin from the South Pole. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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Dressed as Santa Claus, Mark Tate pretends to sleep as he poses for photos with 4-week-old Leilani Mejico at a mall in Cerritos, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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In this Tuesday, 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, 50. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
(AP2013)

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A man portraying Santa Claus talks to 6-month-old Aubree-Jane Halladay, of Scarborough, Maine, at a mall in South Portland, Maine on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Andrew Chesnut, the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said depictions of Santa Claus as a white man came about mainly because he was a European import, a blend of the Dutch Sinterklaas and British folklore character Father Christmas, with elements of Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Greek bishop in modern-day Turkey. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
(AP2013)

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Dressed as Santa Claus, Langston Patterson, 77, poses for photos at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall in Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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Revelers dressed as Santa Claus run under fake snow during a mini-marathon in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves have run a mini-marathon through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession. While grown-ups dressed in red costumes with wispy white beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5 kilometer (3.4 miles) course through the city center. The race was organized Saturday by one of Spains leading department stores and it contributed 1 euro ($1.34) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
(AP2013)

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A man portraying Santa Claus sits in a mall in South Portland, Maine on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Andrew Chesnut, the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said depictions of Santa Claus as a white man came about mainly because he was a European import, a blend of the Dutch Sinterklaas and British folklore character Father Christmas, with elements of Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Greek bishop in modern-day Turkey. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
(AP2013)

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Pancho Claus, portrayed by Richard Reyes, autographs gifts at a charity holiday event Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Houston. "For these diverse times, it's important for children to see Santa in all these different forms," Reyes said. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
(AP2013)

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Pancho Claus, portrayed by Richard Reyes, sings "Feliz Navidad" at a charity holiday event Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Houston. Reyes, took on the role in the early 80's after his teenage sister was killed in a drive-by shooting. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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Revelers dressed as Santa Claus run during a Marathon in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves have run a mini-marathon through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession. While grown-ups dressed in red costumes with wispy white beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5 kilometer (3.4 miles) course through the city center. The race was organized Saturday by one of Spains leading department stores and it contributed 1 euro ($1.34) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
(AP2013)

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Revelers dressed as Santa Claus run under fake snow, during a marathon in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves have run a mini-marathon through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession. While grown-ups dressed in red costumes with wispy white beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5 kilometer (3.4 miles) course through the city center. The race was organized Saturday by one of Spains leading department stores and it contributed 1 euro ($1.34) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
(AP2013)

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Dee Sinclair, who bills himself as the "Real Black Santa" smiles as Paris Allen, 7, reacts after passing a naughty or nice test in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Dee Sinclair, who bills himself as the "Real Black Santa" prepares to visit children at a library, in Atlanta. He said in his 12 years of Santa-dom, he has posed with children and adults of all backgrounds during appearances at art centers, private parties and the occasional suburban Christmas tree lighting. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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Revelers dressed as Santa Claus take a picture during a Marathon in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves have run a mini-marathon through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession. While grown-ups dressed in red costumes with wispy white beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5 kilometer (3.4 miles) course through the city center. The race was organized Saturday by one of Spains leading department stores and it contributed 1 euro ($1.34) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
(AP2013)

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Dressed as Santa Claus, Langston Patterson, 77, waves at shoppers at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. Andrew Chesnut, the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said depictions of Santa Claus as a white man came about mainly because he was a European import, a blend of the Dutch Sinterklaas and British folklore character Father Christmas, with elements of Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Greek bishop in modern-day Turkey. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
(AP2013)

In Multicultural America, Santa Comes In Many Shades And Races

Santa Claus may be popularly known as a white-bearded benefactor with Dutch-English origins, but multiethnic versions of Santa are making the rounds out there too — illustrating that in an increasingly diverse United States, Santa takes on whatever color you imagine him to be.  

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