This past weekend, thousands of Santa's elves nation-wide took part in stand-ins outside of the entrances of various college bars across the country in order to protest the cultural appropriation that they're forced to endure every holiday season. Their goal? To put an end to ironic twenty-somethings and their 'ugly sweater parties.'
"Frankly, it's degrading," commented Smarty McEars, floor manager of Santa's Stuffed Furry Friend department. McEars was just one of the dozen elves that gathered outside of Harvey's Restaurant and Bar this weekend in protest of the "Ugly Christmas Sweater" party. He continued to explain, "These kids— the ones running to Wal-Mart to purchase an article of clothing that exploits our culture—these are the kids we used to build robot dogs and Barbie dolls for. They've benefitted from our culture for years, and now that they've grown up, we have to be the butt of their drunk jokes. They call something important to us "ugly" like we're supposed to think it's hilarious. It's not right, and I'm glad we're finally taking a stand."
Christmas sweaters have been a significant part of the elves' culture for years. Pixiepuff Phillips, the elf who organized the Saratoga Springs protest, sent the following statement to President Glotzbach shortly after Skidmore students returned from Thanksgiving break:
"For one of Santa's elves, these sweaters are not just a fashion statement. These are the threads that we live our lives in all year round. In elf culture, every stitch has meaning. We ask that your students remember this and show proper respect should they don a holiday sweater this season."
In this final week leading up to Christmas, students across campus are waiting and wondering: what will the administration's response be in the wake of these protests?