A Florida woman who has been collecting black Santas for more than 40 years said she has more than 500 objects depicting dark-skinned St. Nicks.
Connie McKinley, 68, a retired teacher from Pompano Beach, said her collection includes 5-foot-tall dancing dolls, small figurines, tree ornaments, and toys depicting Santa doing a myriad of activities, including firefighting, cooking and creating art, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.
"There are Santas doing everything," McKinley said.
McKinley said she bought her first black Santa about 1970, when she saw it in a catalog.
"I kept thinking, I want to show my daughter a Santa that looked like her," McKinley said. "So I bought a black Santa."
McKinley's daughter, Jackie McKinley, 43, said she didn't really appreciate the meaning of the black Santas until she reached adulthood.
"A Santa that looks like me, that's deep for a kid," she said. "I just thought they were cool ... . I start to think about it now, though, and I go into stores and I'm like, 'Why doesn't this store have a black Santa? Come on!'"
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