Our Lady of Christmas


I don’t know about your mom, but mine takes on essentially a full time job for two weeks from December 10–25, building out elaborate plans, menus, gifts, and accommodations to create the magic of Christmas, and then who gets the credit? Some imaginary man with a big white beard. Who makes Christmas happen? SANTA CLAUS!

Does this story reflect the realities of our culture? (The guy who gets all the credit has a bunch of no-wage laborers and a wife who is nameless.) Unfortunately, in some ways, it does. Fortunately, our culture is shifting, and now is the time for women who were once nameless to be named. In some stories, Kris Kringle was a toymaker who married Jessica. So maybe her name is Jessica. Jessica Claus. Although … other names found for her are Gertrude and Carol. What a joke?! Who is this vaguely defined woman, and why are they hiding the fact that she is silently responsible for all the gifts, the meals, the household, and the appointment with the sleigh mechanic, or the fact that she is systematically caring for the elves enough to prevent them from revolt?

Oh dear. I’ve gotten away from myself. Please everybody, let’s be joyful, ’tis the season of cheer. In England, the wife of Father Christmas is Mother Christmas. That sounds reasonable to me. Let’s call her that, okay? The lady deserves a name. Gertrude Claus, the Mother of Christmas, it is.

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