Santa's Husband (ISBN 9780062748744) is a humorous children's picture book of thirty-two pages. It was first published in the United States in 2017. It was written by Daniel Kibblesmith, an American writer and comedian who has notably written topical comedy for the television talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The illustrations are by Ashley Quach.
The book depicts Santa Claus as a black gay man. He is very happily married to another man who helps him in his work. Santa Claus and his husband look almost exactly alike, the major difference being that Santa's husband is white.
Santa's Husband was developed out of comments that Daniel Kibblesmith posted online in December 2016. In that year, Larry Jefferson, an African-American man, was selected to play Santa Claus at the second largest shopping mall in the United States, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Some conservative commentators voiced their displeasure at the idea of Santa Claus, a role traditionally associated with a white man, being played by a person of color. Kibblesmith responded to those commentators by writing on Twitter that he and his future wife would always tell their unborn child that Santa Claus was black. Every time the child saw a white Santa Claus, they would say that was in fact Santa's husband.
Santa Claus and his husband, whose name is revealed at the end of the book to be David, live very happily together at the North Pole. They usually have to rely on their love for each other to keep warm, although climate change means that the weather at the North Pole is growing steadily warmer all the time. Santa Claus and David have thought of themselves as being married to each other for a long time. It was only recently, however, that they were allowed to hold a ceremony at which their marriage was made legal. David helps Santa Claus in his work. Along with Santa, David double checks the lists of which children have been naughty and which have been nice. David also helps to settle labor disputes that arise among Santa's elves and is responsible for feeding Santa's reindeer. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has to follow a special diet so that his nose stays shiny and red. David often stands in for Santa Claus at personal appearances, such as at shopping malls.
Readers are told that some "angry people on TV" will say that Santa Claus does not have a husband and that, unlike how he is depicted in the book's illustrations, he is not black. Readers are, however, also asked to consider the possibility that, since Christmas is celebrated by many diverse groups of people around the world, it could also be possible that Santa Clauses come in many different shapes, sizes and colors.
- "Old Santeclaus with Much Delight" (1821)
- "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (1823)
- "A Letter from Santa Claus" (1875)
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)
- "A Kidnapped Santa Claus" (1904)
- Father Christmas (1973)
- Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (1975)
- The Polar Express (1985)
- Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa (2015)
- ↑ "Black Santa is a hit at Mall of America, but faces online backlash", NPR, December 9, 2016
- ↑ Vivian Kane, "The only Christmas book you need is this one about black Santa and his husband", The Mary Sue, December 25, 2017