The Black Santa Experience is Coming to the Venue at the Lansing Mall

Dear Santa

There was always a Black Santa in the homes of most Black families and usually it was a grandpa, father, uncle or some other male member of the family.

However, Black Santa figurines or Black Christmas items used to be hard to come by.

Now malls, stores and places of business are hiring Santas of all hues and selling items for diverse families.

Photo by koolshooters/Pexels

Lansing will have its first-ever immersive Black Santa Experience on Saturday, November 26 from 12 noon – 6 pm at The Venue, Lansing’s premier event space, located in the Lansing Mall.

Borne from the need for culturally inclusive holiday celebrations, The Black Santa Experience will allow children the opportunity to visit a Santa that looks like them. There will also be other activities for families to share quality time together.

After visiting Santa, attendees can participate in cupcake decorating workshops led by award-winning gluten-free gourmet bakery, Sweet Encounter Bakery & Café.

“Decorating yummy treats is quintessential to every holiday celebration and we love offering these experiences,” says Sweet Encounter owner Nikki Frazier.

Black SantsState Farm agent, Stacey Lewis, has sponsored the crafting table and children can make their own Christmas tree ornament to take home and write a letter to Santa. Hourly raffles will be held and 100% of the proceeds will go to answering the requests of the children.

On Small Business Saturday, attendees can also shop the Black vendor marketplace where over 20 local Black-owned businesses will offer their products and services.

Many Black entrepreneurs start businesses inspired by the richness of Black culture itself–Black-owned clothing stores, hair and skin care products are just a few examples. These business ventures uplift communities, fostering a sense of pride in the people that live there.

When you support Black-owned businesses, you get products that are valuable for the unique character they bring, says Chad Jordan, owner of Cravings Gourmet Popcorn in Old Town. The marketplace will be anchored by Sip Happens, a custom wine glass shoppe that recently introduced a line of Black Santa items and inclusive Christmas ornaments.

Its owner, Karla Wagner said, “For far too long, retailers continue to make the unfortunate mistake of ignoring the $1.6 billion spending power of Black folks when they create their product offering for the holiday season. Shirley Chisholm said ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.’ I’ve decided to make my own table and am thrilled to share it with the community. It’s my goal to create an offering for us that is true to our culture and amplifies the excellence of Black creators.”

Over the years, collecting Black Santas has risen in popularity, there’s even a Facebook group of 28,000 Black Santa enthusiasts. New Jersey resident, Crystal Kittles claims to have the largest collection of Black Santas, but Lansing residents Mitzi Allen, Phebeit Jackson-Ingram and Desiree Quinney may have something to say about that. They have individual collections that span six decades and have specially curated an exhibit , The Black Santa Retrospective for all to review and enjoy.

For more information, call 973-444-9982 or 517-482-5270. If you are unable to make the event log on to to purchase items.