Christmas may be a ways away, but time passes quicker than you think. Before you know it, it’ll be time to make your list and check it twice.
In Hollywood, the holidays are as tremendous as anything else. There’s one celebrity family who doesn’t do things as traditionally as most. In a recent interview, Gabrielle Union opened up about why she and Dwyane Wade’s brood will not be waiting for Santa’s visit.
Gabrielle and Dwyane have a house full of kids. The two share 10-month-old daughter Kaavia James. Dwyane has three older children, 17-year-old Zaire, 12-year-old Zion, and 5-year-old Xavier.
The couple also has legal custody of Dwyane’s 17-year-old nephew, Dahveon.
In the interview in question, Gabrielle was talking to talk-show host and journalist Tamron Hall for Oprah. She asked Tamron, who is also a new mom, if she feels any of her parenting experiences are different from most. Gabrielle then provided the anecdote behind why she and Dwyane don’t encourage their children to believe in Santa as an example.
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are one of the biggest celebrity couples out there. They’re very outspoken about issues of parenting, especially parenting as people of color. They’re very proud to be direct and honest with their kids.
As for kids, they’ve got quite the brood. There’s 10-month-old Kaavia James, whom the couple shares. Then there are Dwyane’s three sons: 17-year-old Zaire, 12-year-old Zion, and 5-year-old Xavier. The couple also has custody of Dwyane’s 17-year-old nephew, Dahveon.
Christmas is one of the subjects where they exercise that honesty. Gabrielle mentioned it while interviewing Tamron Hall for Oprah. Gabrielle asked Tamron whether she thought there were any situations when her previous life experiences as a black Southern woman have informed her parenting decisions.
Gabrielle told a little story about her own family as an example. “Like, I’ll say to my husband, ‘Let’s tell the kids their Christmas gifts are from Santa,” she said. Many were surprised by how the conversation continued.
“And my husband is like, ‘There’s no way in [expletive] I’m letting these kids think that old white man is sneaking into our house and doing anything for them.’ Because he didn’t grow up believing in Santa Claus,” she explained.
All of this spoke to the idea that parents of color have unique challenges in seemingly simple situations. “We have these conversations when it comes to raising our children about where to draw the line between fantasy and ‘Hey, that’s not how life works.'” Gabrielle added.
Tamron understood Gabrielle’s perspective totally. “100 percent. Modern parenting is especially difficult for parents of color — we have to talk about not only ‘Are we gonna say Santa exists,’ but also ‘Is Santa Black?'” Tamron noted.
Tamron is hoping her talk show will be a place where those ideas can be built on for some and introduced for others. “Again, this is exactly the conversation that we want to have on the show, because some families might not even realize this is a thing. So we want all perspectives,” she explained.
“Something as simple as Santa Claus could cause a big debate, so why not have a conversation with real parents of all backgrounds talking about how they approach Santa Claus, and what race he is?” Tamron added. “It might sound small, but these are the everyday things we’re thinking about.”
Gabrielle and Tamron also discussed what it is to be a working mom. It began by Tamron talking about the idea of working mothers needing to strike a balance. Gabrielle noted that working fathers are never given that expectation, using her own husband as an example.
She also discussed this in the May edition of Parents, where she graced the cover with Kaavia. “I’m okay with life not being balanced,” she said. “I’m not hitting it out of the park in every area. There are times I should be studying lines, but I’m playing with my baby and I’m enjoying it.”
Gabrielle is working hard to try to redefine what the experience of a working mom in Hollywood is, starting with her own show, L.A.’s Finest. She and Jessica Alba star in and are executive producers of the series.
“Jessica outfitted my trailer like a nursery,” Gabrielle revealed. “Together, we’ve reimagined what Hollywood can be for working moms.” The show is just one of many projects Gabrielle has on her plate right now.
Gabrielle is one of many celebrities looking to have more open and honest conversations about what parenting looks like. Each person’s unique circumstances give them a set of challenges to help their children through, and we can all understand each other’s positions a bit better by just listening from time to time.