The beloved Rudolph the Reindeer Movie is under fire for the characters being involved in bullying. The classic song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been pulled from some radio stations. Even the seemingly harmless Frosty the Snowman is under fire for not mentioning snow women.
‘Tis the season for political correctness. As much as I want women, children and snow-people of all genders to feel included, I feel like the PC Grinch is stealing Christmas from all of us. The media needs to take a break from criticizing beloved traditions.
No group in our society needs this much protection.
I miss the time where Rudolph, Charlie Brown and other storybook characters were safe to be carriers of joy for millions of children. Let’s return to an age where we didn’t look for signs of racism, bullying and gender inequality in every movie, cartoon or Christmas story.
It may have been naïve, but as a society, we assumed goodwill towards men (and women) in Christmas art and programming. Hoping to find a local holiday tradition that could be safe from the scourge of PC correctness, I set out upon a quest.
I considered the 62-year-old reign of Santa at our region’s famous North Pole. No luck. Santa has been accused of being an unfair employer. He is being sued by angry elves who feel that their union organizing efforts have been blocked.
In desperation, I moved away from Christmas traditions to Kwanzaa. Colorado Springs has a 28-year history of an annual celebration held locally at the Hillside Community Center. Surely wonderful principles like Umoja — to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race will be safe from political correctness.
No dice. Apparently, some PC warriors in our region feel that Kwanzaa is not inclusive enough to people who aren’t of African descent. Complaints of reverse racism have marred the tradition.
Will any local traditions escape the PC police?
Enter Christmas Unlimited. Started in 1923, Christmas Unlimited is one of our region’s oldest charities, serving local families in need during the holidays. The organization collects and distributes toys to the families at their warehouse. The facility is transformed into a type of store where parents shop for toys that they believe their children would enjoy.
Nothing to be offended about here so far.
When parents finish shopping for their children, they go to a check-out counter and receive additional items for their children, including a stuffed animal and stocking stuffers, along with wrapping paper. Parents typically walk away with around $50 worth of toys per child. Everything is put in a shopping bag, or two or three, and they’re on their way home. No parent is ever charged to shop for the toys.
The entire process is manned by volunteers. These efforts are designed to help the parent feel good about themselves while providing for their children. No long lines. No dragging children out in the cold weather. The children never know where the gifts come from.
This method of toy distribution promotes family unity and parental self-worth. The impact reaches far beyond that of making a child happy on Christmas Day. Alleviating some holiday stress is a worthy mission that CU has been engaged in for almost 100 years.
At last! A local Christmas tradition with no veiled racism, bullying or gender inequality.
The organization is non-sectarian. “All are welcome to participate in our program” says, Executive Director Mike Tapia “We never ask questions about race, background, or beliefs. We serve everyone who finds themselves in need. We are glad to help.”
The toys come in through a community toy drive. The public is invited to participate by bringing toys new (or used) to area fire stations. Toys can also be purchased or dropped at local Safeway stores. To learn more about Christmas Unlimited go online at www.christmasunlimited.org or call the office at 719-955-0742
Sorry PC Grinch. Maybe you should move on and find some peace on earth.
Rachel Stovall is a longtime community advocate and organizer. Also a fundraising, media and marketing consultant, Stovall is most known for singing with her dance band Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors.