Santas saying ‘No, no, no’ to ban on ‘Ho, ho, ho’ (Sydney Daily Telegraph)

When kids hear Santa Claus bellow, “Ho, ho, ho,” is their first thought prostitution?

That concern has prompted an attempt to gag the traditional greeting, and many Santas are now fighting back.

According to the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Santas across Australia are rebelling against attempts to change their saying to a more politically correct, “ha, ha, ha.”

It all started when the recruitment firm Westaff – which has offices both in the
United States and
Australia – told its Christmas trainees that the “ho, ho, ho” phrase could frighten children and possibly be derogatory to women.

“Westaff has been a provider of quality caring Santas for over 40 years,” Westaff’s national Santa coordinator Sari Hegarty wrote to stores via e-mail.

“Part of our advice to our Santas is that they should be mindful of children having their first Santa experience. We ask our Santas to try techniques such as lowering their tone of voice and using ‘ha, ha, ha’ to encourage the children to come forward and meet Santa. We wish you and your family a very merry Christmas.”

The directions have prompted some Santa trainees to quit the program.

One told the Daily Telegraph he was taught not to use “ho, ho, ho” because it was too close to the American slang for prostitute.

“Gimme a break,” said Julie Gale, head of the campaign against sexualizing children called Kids Free 2B Kids. “We are talking about little kids who do not understand that ‘ho, ho, ho’ has any other connotation and nor should they. Leave Santa alone.”

Dr. Joe Tucci, CEO of the Australian Childhood Foundation, called it the latest example of political correctness gone mad.

“There is no stronger tradition for children than Santa’s ho, ho, ho,” Tucci said.

At a Myer store, where Westaff also trains the fat men in red suit, Santa could not stop laughing about the suggestion.

“Myer has not directed our Santas to refrain from using ‘ho, ho, ho’ and believe the expression is an important Christmas tradition,” a spokesman for Myer said.

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