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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


What to Know About the Latest College Campaign: The Santa Cause

A cartoon image of Santa Clause.
A cartoon image of Santa Clause.

February 9, 2024/Midnight 

A cartoon image of Santa Clause.

Erie, Pa.,–Scott Lannan can often be found riding his bicycle around Long Island, N.Y. In fact, he has covered over 25,000 miles (about 40233.6 km) doing so.  The catch: he does it all in a Santa suit.   

He wears the recognizable costume to bring awareness to his campaign known as “The Santa Cause.”  Lannan’s campaign has distinct goals in raising awareness of healthy living.   

The first is to associate the image of Santa Claus with healthy eating and exercise.  Another similar goal of the campaign is to help encourage sick children to take care of their bodies by promoting healthy eating and exercise.  

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The image of Santa Claus creating healthy habits will encourage the youth of N.Y. to adopt the same ideas. Lannan believes that if Santa Claus were seen as a cultural figure that promotes health, it would encourage children to adopt healthy habits. 

Another goal of “The Santa Cause” is to push back against the consumerist nature that society has given Santa Claus. Though Santa Claus was partially inspired by Saint Nicholas, the modern image of Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola. 

“Since the 1930’s Coca-Cola [has] helped transform an image that meant kindness and giving into a weapon to sell more product,” said Lannan. 

“Though there was this sort of thing before the 1930’s, [however] it was Coca-Cola’s use that made it acceptable to use Santa more as a salesman than anything else.” 

The innocent image of Santa has a hopeful meaning for many children. Lannan’s initiative to draw attention to the original image of Santa’s kindness and passion for giving could be greatly beneficial for children. 

“It’s time we honor the true message of Santa Claus and give credit and acknowledgment to the parents who year after year preach Santa to their children, who will preach it to their children, and so on” said Lannan.  

The tradition of using the image of Santa as a symbol of hope and spreading joy can influence the way future generations address not only the holidays but their communities as well.  

“If a precedent was set and a portion of all sales using Santa went to charity, billions of dollars would be made available towards helping sick kids year after year” explains Lannan. 

Lannan believes that colleges have always been a starting point for major change in America. With the help of college students, the long-held image of Santa could finally change, and hopefully, for the better. 

Jordan Baird 

[email protected] 


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