The author of Santa’s Husband is spending the week before Christmas using Twitter to promote his fresh spin on the Santa Claus story. The idea for a children’s book about a gay, black Santa in an interracial relationship with a white man was born on Twitter, and now some outraged netizens are using the social media platform to air their grievances against the author.
Santa’s Husband is the creation of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer Daniel Kibblesmith and his wife, author Jennifer Wright. The couple’s holiday book came to be after illustrator A.P. Quach noticed one of Kibblesmith’s tweets about a conversation that he and Wright had about Santa Claus. According to the Wrap, the couple had been joking about the way some members of the public reacted last year when Mall of America hired a black Santa Claus.
“Me & @JenAshleyWright have decided our future child will only know about Black Santa. If they see a white one we’ll say ‘That’s his husband,'” Kibblesmith tweeted on December 3, 2016.
“Boom. new children’s book,” Quach responded.
The artist made a serious offer to illustrate a book inspired by Daniel Kibblesmith’s tweet, and Santa’s Husband was published in October of this year. The book treats readers to a series of vignettes about what life is like for Santa Claus and his husband, whose name is David. Both men are bearded and rotund and live at the North Pole, but Santa is black while David is white.
“Everyone knows that Santa Claus is jolly, but in Santa’s Husband, this cherished symbol of the holiday season is also black and gay, and married to an equally cheery man,” reads the book’s Amazon description.
On their wedding day, Santa and David were married by a living snowman, and now, they’re your quintessential happy couple. However, they do have their disagreements; David is not a happy camper when Santa tracks chimney soot all over the carpet. Luckily, most of their issues are resolved with a kiss and some milk and cookies.
According to Daniel Kibblesmith, Santa’s Husband was also influenced by “the annual tradition we have in this country of pretending that there’s a giant war on Christmas.” The so-called war on Christmas is a topic that’s often discussed on Fox News, and there’s a newscaster character in Santa’s Husband who is inspired by the conservative media personalities who rail against anything holiday-related that challenges a specific worldview about how Christmas should be celebrated.
In Santa’s Husband, “angry people on TV” tell their viewers that Santa Claus isn’t black and doesn’t have a husband, but the book makes the argument that Santa believers should be allowed to imagine him however they like.
“Who is anyone to say what the real Santa looks like?”
Daniel Kibblesmith is actually crediting an outraged Fox News contributor for helping to boost the sales of Santa’s Husband. The book rocketed to the number five spot on Amazon’s list of best sellers in the humor category after it was mentioned on the Todd Starnes Show. Starnes also published a piece criticizing the book.
“Mr. Kibblesmith does not offer any advice for parents on how to address questions that might arise from curious youngsters,” he complained. “Like, for example, why does Mrs. Claus have a beard?”
In response to his question, the book makes it very clear that David is a man, not a woman with a beard.
During an interview with Pink News, A.P. Quach revealed that many kids are not fans of the irate news host character in Santa’s Husband.
“They couldn’t understand why the newscaster man was angry and it bothered them. Kids are darn perceptive.”
It’s not just real-life media personalities who are complaining about Santa’s Husband. Some Twitter users have called the book an “abomination” and a sign that judgment day is coming soon, while others accused Daniel Kibblesmith of trying to turn kids gay by publishing his book. The author has been responding to some of his critics on Twitter.
While some of the tweets about Santa’s Husband have been hateful and angry, Kibblesmith told Paste Magazine that about 80 percent of the responses to the book have been positive. There have even been calls to turn it into an animated movie.