First, you know you're in trouble when you get a Washington Post headline like this....

Kidless adults in Portland, Ore., are waiting 90 minutes to visit Hipster Santa

Then the trouble multiplies exponentially when the lede is this...

The mall couldn’t have a traditional Santa Claus because it’s in Portland. In the Oregon city that prides itself on refusing convention, even the mainstay of Christmas has to be quirky and hyper-local. A red hat and suit? Please. Try a man bun, Pendleton sweater and heavy-rimmed glasses.

Meet Hipster Santa.

In the rotunda of Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, Hipster Santa gives out temporary tattoos instead of candy canes. He parks his red bike right next to the Christmas tree. A partridge statue is perched on top of his chair. “We put a bird on it,” said a representative from the mall, echoing a refrain from the hipster cult hit show “Portlandia.”


However, the story did include some interesting backstory on how Pioneer Place came up with the "Hipster Santa" idea...

Hipster Santa is the brainchild of Pioneer Place’s marketing staff, which pitched the idea to manager Robert Buchanan. The whole office rallied together to come up with the set, which includes a vintage-looking typewriter, Thermos and a small statue of a beaver wearing an orange scarf. The beaver, Oregon’s state animal, had been “yarn-bombed” (the phrase for knitting-based graffiti, don’t you know.)

Buchanan calls the response to Hipster Santa “phenomenal” and can foresee more themed Santas for the mall in future years.

Read the rest of the story here.

Now, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the ever expanding commodification of "Portland" (as in not the real Portland, but the nation's "idea" of Portland)—tourists expect this sort of thing now, and a savvy business owner would be an idiot not to jump on it. BUT GODDAMN IT, I DON'T LIKE PEOPLE TOYING WITH SANTA. I'm not what you'd call a traditionalist in any sense of the term, but as I've mentioned in the past, if given a choice of "religions," I'll go with Santa every time. Because other than asking you to be "good," he doesn't require anything else from you (including your soul). I like that. I respect that. And while I understand the necessity of bringing in Santa to get people inside your store, I'd hate it if this commodification continued and Santa was sponsored by Alaskan Airlines.

Want to read more Santa adoration? Check out my feature where I reviewed all the Santas in town!

The real fucking deal.
  • The real fucking deal.