Crystal Kittles received her first Black Santa as a housewarming gift from her husband. Little did she know, two decades later she’d still be collecting Black Santas, according to WPVI.
Unfortunately, Kittles husband passed away, but she is still continuing the tradition he helped her start.
These are not your regular everyday run-of-the-mill Santas. Kittles has a saxophone-playing Santa, a Malibu Beach Santa, a rapping Hip-Hop Santa, and a six-foot-tall Santa statue, according to WPVI.
I would love to see the rapping hip-hop Santa.
“So many different ones, but I’ve never taken the time to count them,” she said. To me, it’s not always about the gifts. It’s just about the gathering, just seeing each other enjoying each other.”
Once every two years, Kittles unearths the collection and invites community members for a seasonal open house. It has become a tradition to gather all the children and grandchildren for a day filled with Christmas music, food, and decorating.
“I would have the church members come out and they can bring their children, their grandchildren,” she said. “We just sit back and enjoy the spirit of the holiday.”
Kittles, an educational assistant in the Cherry Hill School district, now has grandchildren of her own. She says that displaying her diverse array of Black Santa trinkets has earned a new meaning.
“I think it’s very important that they see it and they can identify with it,” she said. “It helps them to be proud. They can say, ‘Okay, I can be anything. I can be anyone.’”
Isaac Ware has noticed his mother’s collection of Black Santas is positively influencing his daughters. “It’s great to have that tradition and something that we’re able to share with them and the representation it brings for them to see someone who looks like them,” Ware says. “It can be shared amongst everybody. Santa is for everyone,” according to WPVI.
But, Kittles wants her collection of Black Santas to be shared with children who are not just family and wants them all to “believe in the spirit of Christmas” and hopes to continue collecting Black Santas in the future, per the story from WPVI.