This week, a Christmas sweater made headlines for its depiction of Santa with a whole lot of “snow.”
The Christmas Sweater
Who doesn’t love a Christmas sweater? Ugly, kitschy, cute–you decide the adjective but it’s a classic nonetheless. A snowman, bears on skies, snowflakes, reindeer, Christmas trees, holly, the Ghost of Christmas Past– the print options are so psychedelically kitsch-chic. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, feeling a little ironic, or somehow you just happened to find a seriously great Christmas sweater, it’s one way to compliment or comment on the holiday scene. Sip some eggnog, sprinkle a little psychoactive nutmeg on top, and cozy on up by the fire wearing a classic, festive, and hilarious fashion accouterment.
Well, Walmart took the Christmas sweater, and Santa, to a whole new level–with lines of cocaine.
Let it Snow
Santa Claus is no stranger to snow–the real kind. He’s from the North Pole, a wintery wonderland, which accounts for his seasonally appropriate boots. However, the “Let it Snow” sweater that was available on Walmart’s Canadian website gave the Christmas jingle an illicit metaphorical tone. To be fair, technically it wasn’t Walmart. Rather, it was a third party seller. How this slid past the powers-that-be however is a slippery question indeed.
Against a wintery-blue backdrop, snowflakes fall about the central, seated figure of Santa Claus. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, Santa looks quite wide-eyed and wired with his arms open in glee. He even has a straw in his hand. In front of his recliner chair is a coffee table with three lines of coke, and what appears to be a nice little hill of cocaine bags. Make no mistake about it, a company called “Fun Wear” made a Christmas sweater with Santa Claus very excited about those three lines, and they ain’t skinny. Santa, on the other hand, appears to have trimmed down.
“We All Know How Snow Works”
Actually, we’re not sure about that Fun Wear. In case anyone is wondering though, snow forms when ice crystals in clouds stick together to make snowflakes. If enough of these little crystals stick together, they get heavier, and viola! Snow baby. Then, the magical show of white crystals unfolds all around us. Let’s not forget the artful beauty of the snowflake that lands on so many of our holiday sweaters. Each tiny snowflake is unique in shape–or so we were told. That may not be true either. According to researchers, snowflakes fall into one of 35 different shapes. So maybe snowflakes are not all special, individual. If there are purportedly 16 Myers & Briggs personality types for human beings, however, snowflakes pretty much doubled that.
That’s not what Fun Wear meant. The sassy opening line of their product description took a turn down South. This sweater had nothing to do with the natural phenomenon.
“We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole. That’s why Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow.”
This is offensive. We all know that Santa is not St. Nick. Not only is Santa pagan but he’s a mushroom eating shaman. The true origins of Santa Claus predate the Christian saintly gift-giver. Lies. In the Andes Mountains, however, yes, it does snow and we hear it’s very beautiful. So why did you have to take it there Fun Wear? In any case, we don’t know how hard it would be for Santa to get special “snow” if he wanted to–if he can travel around the world in a night–what’s the issue? Jokes aside, this tactless reference to Columbia and the depiction of squeaky-clean Santa Claus engaging in a Schedule I substance did not go over well.
Lend Me Your Earmuffs
“These sweaters,” Walmart declared, “sold by a third-party seller on walmart.ca…do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website. We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused. These sweaters were not offered on walmart.com in the U.S.”
Smooth U.S. recovery slip in the end there, Walmart.
Columbia Says No to Snow
Columbia doesn’t give a sh*t about Walmart’s apology. A Columbian government agency has thrown that sweater, along with their oversight, back in their face with a threat to sue.
“Colombia must be respected,” said Camilo Gómez Alzate, the director of Colombia’s National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State, according to El Tiempo. “What will the family of a person who died in the fight against drug trafficking feel when a firm like Walmart promotes a bag of cocaine from Colombia?”
Well, understood. The sweater is hideous. Their product description could have also been a little more–what’s the word?–nuanced. But we do not even know how to interpret the snowstorm over this sweater. Does the family of a person who died fighting against drug trafficking care about a Walmart sweater? Does Walmart hold such a special place in Columbian hearts? In any case, it’s still available on Amazon and has become a best-seller since Walmart took it down.
So, no to Santa “snow.” It wasn’t a sensitive move on Fun Wear or Walmart’s part. But then, Santa has sold quite a number of products. Coca-Cola included. Coca may no longer be in the cola, but Santa and Coca have been in cahoots for a long time.