You know Dasher and Dancer, Santa and Jesus, Rudolph and Frosty and Yukon Cornelius. But do you recall any substantial detail about Mrs. Claus at all?
As the mere default female of the Christmas bunch, Mrs. Claus is vaguely defined and her role in the holiday season seems completely inconsequential. For some reason, Christmas is like the ultimate sausage fest. There are about two dozen different characters associated with the holiday season and almost all of them carry a Y chromosome. I mean, even your average Nativity Scene has more sheep than women.
The only concrete fact that we know about Mrs. Claus is that she’s Santa’s wife. She has no children, no job and no use for the immortality that was bestowed upon her. Unless she was already immortal to begin with. Or maybe she’s not immortal and Mrs. Claus is just a title given to whomever Santa is exclusively banging at the time. Or maybe she’s just Santa Claus in drag.
Any one of these scenarios is plausible since we don’t know anything about her. She doesn’t even have a first name, unless her parents named her Missus. But if that was the case, she’d be Mrs. Missus Claus.
We call her husband by any number of different names—Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, St. Nick—but oddly enough, never “Mr. Claus.” You’d think that by this point we could have all decided to give Mrs. Claus a name that sticks.
In her first appearance her name was Gertrude, but she soon went by Jessica—probably because she had the foresight not to be saddled with the name Gertrude for the rest of eternity. Sometimes her name is a word associated with Christmas, like Carol or Mary. She’s been Anna, Anya, Annette and, weirdly enough, Wyoming.
But again, maybe Santa is like the North Pole equivalent of Henry VIII and these are all different women. If we ever hear Mrs. Claus going by a modern name like Makayla or Neveah then we’ll know for sure that Santa’s been replacing his bride throughout history. It makes sense that his immortality might not extend to Mrs. Claus, especially when her role in the Christmas process isn’t even vital.
That’s another thing—Mrs. Claus needs a job.
Photo by/CC The National Guard and Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
People say she makes cookies, but why the fuck would she need to do that? Millions of children leave her husband cookies every year. I mean, the cookies could be for the elves, but why can’t Santa share some of his cookies? Is one of Santa’s super powers the ability to ingest enough food to feed a third world nation in the span of one evening?
Is he that much of a glutton that he needs his wife to make him a constant supply of cookies when it’s not Christmas Eve? And is cookie baking really so complicated that Mrs. Claus is the only one who can do it? You have elves building Playstations and tablets, but they can’t figure out a simple sugar cookie recipe?
Mrs. Claus is also credited with taking care of the elves, but there’s something inherently creepy about that. It insinuates that the elves have the mentality of children, which means that Santa’s essentially running on child labor.
More likely the elves are just short, magical creatures with the intelligence of a human adult—but then why do they need some matriarch babysitting them and feeding them cookies? It just paints Mrs. Claus as a sad woman who pretends to be a mother to her husband’s employees because she never started a family of her own.
Photo by/CC City of Marietta, GA
Speaking of which, why didn’t Mrs. Claus and Santa ever have a child? Is being a Santa like being a Jedi and you’re not allowed to have kids? Was Mrs. Claus already post-menopausal when she met her future husband or is one of them sterile?
Maybe all of Santa’s fantastical powers come from the fact that his wife can’t have children. So Santa created a magical reality in which he could bring joy to all the children in the world in equal proportion to the amount of money their parents make. He whisked his wife away to the North Pole where she could play mother to an entire species of magical slave creatures and feel good about dedicating her immortal life to making children happy.
Or maybe Mrs. Claus is like some sort of parallel figure to the Virgin Mary. Like in order to allow a virgin to give birth to the son of God, a fertile woman had to give up her ability to bear children. In reward for her sacrifice, she was given the eternal role of making children happy on the anniversary of the day that she became barren.
She apparently fulfills this role by standing in the background, baking cookies for nobody and watching over fully-functioning adults as if they were her children, like the lonely wife of a Southern plantation owner.
Drawing by Cartoon Solutions
No, that won’t do. It’s 2012 and all the ladies are independent. It’s time for Mrs. Claus to do something more than just be an imperfect female clone of her husband. Boys and girls need positive female role models.
Like, why can’t Mrs. Claus deliver the presents too? If you’re already lying to your kids about who brought their iPhone, what’s a little more deception? You have no reservations writing “From Mom and Dad” on a gift tag, isn’t “From Santa and Mrs. Claus” essentially the same thing? Like maybe the kids could leave out cookies for Santa and Activia yogurt for Mrs. Claus.
Only, let’s not call her Mrs. Claus like she’s some background character in a play who only has a few scenes. Let’s give her a real name—like Denise or something. Denise Claus.
Dr. Denise Huxtable-Claus, Professor of Women’s Studies at U of C Berkley.
Dr. Claus can bring handcrafted, gender-neutral toys to the children of agnostic parents who still celebrate Christmas.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get any concrete information about Mrs. Claus because we’ve all sort of collectively decided she fills a specific role—she’s Santa’s beard.
Photo by God knows who, but via Ms.Marx
Not the one he wears on his face, the one he’s married to so he can avoid scrutiny when he invites children onto his crotch to take an inventory of their secret desires. A single elderly man giving candy to kids after they sit on his lap for a picture is a pedophile. A married elderly man doing the same is still a pedophile, but you’re like “Yeah, but the wife probably keeps an eye on him to make sure that nothing happens.”
If the role of Mrs. Claus is to make Santa less creepy than she’s doing a spectacularly shitty job of it. The way she stays all squirreled up at the North Pole, performing meaningless, repetitive tasks like she’s Santa’s hostage isn’t exactly helping. She needs to get out in the world, and get out from her husband’s jolly round shadow.
She needs to work it girl.