Survey says some people want gender-neutral Santa Claus

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Should Santa Claus be presented as younger or get a new look? How about a gender-neutral image? Those questions are on a survey that is circulating, which is getting some people pretty fired up. What do people in the Houston area say about the "Should Santa Change?" survey?

One look at the big belly, white beard and red suit, and you know it’s the jolly old guy, but should the days of calling Santa Claus a man be ancient history?

"No, he should stay traditional Santa," says a hurried Hannah Wasserman. A survey of 4,000 people, conducted by a logo company, is asking all sorts of questions from whether Santa should get tattoos or be in better shape to if he should he wear updated clothing, use Amazon Prime to deliver instead of his sleigh and should we not call Santa a male or female?

"In my mind, I have a particular idea of what Santa is and I don’t want him to change," adds Ryan Jacoby.

FOX 26 News posed those questions to Santa himself. 

"I personally think it’s a silly survey," said Jim Fletcher, who has portrayed Santa Claus for more than a decade. "I have never ever in my ten or eleven years heard anybody say Santa ought to be a female wearing skinny jeans."

Fletcher also says his non-profit organization, Lone Star Santas, has women on the board, ladies who play Mrs. Claus and who are elves, but he suggests that making Santa gender neutral is going a bit far. 

"Santa Claus is a male," says Fletcher and the majority of people agree with him. 

Visitors to the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend and more than 70 percent of the people surveyed say Santa Claus is a male and doesn’t need to change a bit.

By the way, the beautiful Christmas Village runs through Jan. 5, 2019. It is open from Wednesdays until Sundays starting at 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. and stays open an hour later on Saturdays.