Santa Claus won’t be at a wildly popular community Christmas luncheon as he has been in years past. He has been replaced by Frosty and his penguin sidekick, deemed a more appropriate “winter character”. The YMCA — founded in 1844 to spread Christian values — is in the midst of rebranding itself as “The Y”. “It wasn’t replacing; it was transitioning,” said John Rappaport, executive director of the McBurney YMCA. “We realized that change is sometimes good, and that Frosty is a great winter character who would appeal to a broader number of kids.”
Following the release of this story in the New York post DefendChristmas.com was again beseiged with a flurry of angry emails.
“St. Nicholas is a sacred character, Santa Claus is a secular character” wrote Todd DeNaldo, of New York City. “Even the Supreme Court agrees with that. What am I going to do? Put my kid on Frosty’s lap? He’ll melt.”
“Santa belongs to all the people,” added Ed Bobrow, who has played Santa at Central Park’s Belvedere Castle for years. “He represents openness and an invitation for anyone and everyone to celebrate good will toward man.”
Bobrow, who is Jewish, says it’s the kids who will miss out. “Try to see it through the eyes of the children,” he said.
“Where do they get off doing this?” asked Melanie Smith. “Who complained? Who gave them the authority to fire Santa? Who ever said that Santa wasn’t inclusive?”