Just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone, somewhere, comes up with another imbecilic jaw-dropper, and such was the topic of discussion and viewer mail this morning on our local Breakfast Television show.
A company that hires seasonal Santas in Sydney, Australia recently encouraged its St. Nicks to drop the “Ho, ho, ho” for a “Ha, ha, ha.”
The U.S-based Westaff says it was leaving it to their Santas’ discretion, but that in the U.S. the word ‘ho’ had become synonymous with a derogatory slang term for a prostitute. And the phrase, they thought, might frighten children or make them uncomfortable.
Give me a freakin’ break! Political correctness is one thing, but I think this crosses the line into sheer idiocy! Any woman who would misconstrue Santa’s traditional “Ho, ho, ho” for a derogatory slur would have to be a complete and total moron! And make children uncomfortable? Puleez! I doubt there are many 3-year-olds who’d get the point they’re trying to make — to a child, to those who believe, Santa brings only hope, joy, love and magic.
Most activities associated with Santa Claus are extraordinary, such as delivering presents to all of the believing children in one night, how he squeezes down chimneys, how he enters homes without chimneys, why he never dies, and how he makes reindeer fly — “magic” is used to explain his actions. In a world and at a time when we ask teenagers to go to war, don’t we take that magic away soon enough?
It’s a reflection of the “skepticism of a skeptical age”. It’s sad and pathetic and ridiculous. Why mess with a tradition that brings happiness and awe to millions of children around the world…children of all colors, creeds, religions, boys and girls alike? Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” is as much a part of his persona as his white beard, or his rosy cheeks, his ample belly or his flying reindeer.
Published in The New York Sun, 1897:
“There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished…You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.”
Let Santa be…Santa. Ho-Ho-Ho.
 Francis P. Church, The New York Sun, September 1897