Westboro – Excited children of the Westboro community were greeted to a sighting of Santa Claus this weekend, although the usually rotund, bearded old Saint Nick looked a lot different from what most kids had expected.
The Westboro Santa featured in the parade was no longer a plump, jovial elderly bearded man, but rather a late 40’s, active living, healthy, fit and clean shaven man, trading in the traditional red and white plush suit for a form fitting Lululemon yoga outfit.
Westboro BIA President Sheila Newman wanted to transform the image of the typically un-fit, overweight, elderly image of Santa Claus, into a more vibrant, healthy and positive image that reflects more of the active-living lifestyle her community represents. “Santa should be a role model for the children, and with our Santa, I think he exemplifies a healthy, fit role model for the Westboro children.” Newman explained.
Also modified was the traditional sleigh and reindeer that Santa’s parade float usually features, being replaced by a more allergy conscious choice of a team of Labradoodles harnessed to a Subaru Forester supplied by Otto’s Subaru of Westboro. “A lot of the parade spectators have severe allergies to animal dander, so we thought the Labradoodles were an excellent alternative.” replied Newman, who also had Bridghehead coffee house supply the dogs with head toques made from coffee cups.
Before the children were treated to the sight of healthy Saint Nick, the parade also showcased a number of other Westboro parade participants including a team of Nordic Stick Walkers, a brigade of decorated baby strollers and Bridgehead elves distributing fair trade coffee beans instead of the usual sugary candy canes. A barefoot runner and a recumbent bicycle also joined in on the festive fun.
As the healthier, thinner Westboro Santa Claus finally arrived on his Subaru, many children had mixed reactions, with some crying and hiding their faces from the obviously different appearance of their revered Santa Claus. “Santa looks sick, and why is wearing girl’s clothes?” one child remarked as the float passed by. The Westboro Santa waved to the children bellowing his trademark “HO HO HO” in both official languages, and reminded children that due to his lactose intolerance and gluten free diet, to please leave behind prune juice and a flax seed muffin instead of the traditional milk and cookies on Christmas Eve.
This article originally appeared on the-o-dot and is republished here with kind permission of the author.