The thing about customs and traditions is that they never change. They are warm and cozy and comforting and don't need to be updated to meet the whims of the current day trendsetters or what is politically correct. They are what connect us to our past.

But watch out, because as we have come to learn our past is under attack and so are many of our traditions.

Over the centuries, Santa Claus has managed to survive relatively unscathed. There have been those who would slim Santa down, separate him from his pipe and even have him be less judgmental of Rudolph's "non-conformity," but by and large the old guy has hung in there. How much longer he can hang in there might be another thing altogether.

A survey conducted by Graphic Springs asked 400 people across the U.S. and U.K how they would “rebrand” or modernize Santa. Fox News says from there, 4,000 people across the two countries then voted on the most popular suggestions.

Here is a sampling:

--11 percent believe Santa should be a female
--17 percent say Santa should be gender neutral
--70 percent say Santa should remain a male

--23 percent say Santa should ditch the elves and use Amazon Prime
--23 percent say Santa should have an iPhone
--22 percent say Santa should have a flying car

--20 percent want Santa to get some ink
--21 percent want Santa to lose weight
--18 percent want Santa to get a new hairstyle
--25 percent want Santa to trade in the boots for sneakers or trainers

Additional survey results can be found here.

Change for the sake of it is usually disastrous. Look what Disney has done to Mickey Mouse, and of course, who can forget the "New Coke" experiment? There is a lot to be said for traditions and customs. Reliability is important.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think Santa is doing just fine the way he is and really doesn't need a makeover.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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