Christmas, whether celebrated religiously or commercially, is arguably one of the greatest holidays for its meaning and widely celebrated traditions. While many families use the holiday to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ through fellowship and gift-giving, others associate the holiday with Good Ole’ Saint Nick, otherwise known as Santa Claus.
But for the Wade Family, according to Gabrielle Union, baby Kaavia will not believe in the magic of Santa Claus because her father Dwyane Wade didn’t, either.
In a recent profile for O, The Oprah Magazine, in which she interviews Tamron Hall, Union opened up about the holiday spirit in her household.
“I’ll say to my husband, ‘Let’s tell the kids their Christmas gifts are from Santa.’ And my husband is like, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m letting these kids think that old white man is sneaking into our house and doing anything for them,” Union said. “Because he didn’t grow up believing in Santa Claus.”
“We have these conversations when it comes to raising our children about where to draw the line between fantasy and ‘Hey, that’s not how life works,” she said.
As the conversation continued, Hall, who even shared a sneak peek into the discussions for her new self-titled syndicated talk show, highlighted similar sentiments, saying she “100 percent” agreed.
“Modern parenting is especially difficult for parents of color,” she added, because “we have to talk about not only ‘Are we gonna say Santa exists,’ but also “Is Santa Black?’”
“Again, this is exactly the conversation that we want to have on the show, because some families might not even realize this is a thing. So we want all perspectives,” she said. “Something as simple as Santa Claus could cause a big debate, so why not have a conversation with real parents of all backgrounds talking about how they approach Santa Clause, and what race he is.”
“It might sound small, but these are the everyday things we’re thinking about,” Hall continued.
The two also touched on parenting guilt, and how society places the blame on women, assuming they should always be in the presence of their children.
“And these are dads who are involved – I’m talking about 50-50 parents, people like my husband, who has full custody of his children and took the longest paternity leave from professional sports last year,” Union said. “But he doesn’t talk about feeling guilty when he’s away from his children.”
“Because no one has ever asked him questions like, ‘Do you feel guilty for missing things with your kids?’” She continued. “The assumption is that mothers should experience guilt for missing things, but with dads, it’s just not a thing.”
“So when I get asked that question in interviews, I don’t mind shaming the interviewer, like, ‘I’ve noticed that you interviewed Warren Buffet or Jay-Z, and never once did you ask them how they balanced it all with their children,’” Union said. “[Dads are] made to feel like superheroes for doing the bare minimum, while we deal with Mom guilt.”