Walmart is apologizing for a Christmas sweater sold on its site that appears to suggest a more… adult theory as to how the big jolly elf manages to stay awake all night to deliver presents to the nice boys and girls of the world.
An outside company called FUN Wear sold the sweater on Walmart’s Marketplace in Canada. It shows Santa sitting at a table in front of what appears to be three lines of cocaine, with the caption “Let It Snow” underneath. The image itself could have been interpreted as innocent, but the description that was posted on the website leaves little doubt that the seller intended to make a drug reference.
Walmart Canada was alerted to the sweater after amused customers began posting about it on social media.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Sweater Description Includes References to Santa Laying Out ‘Perfect Lines’ of the ‘Best Snow’ & Taking a ‘Big Whiff to Smell the High-Quality Aroma’
The drug reference on this Ugly Christmas Sweater is fairly obvious. “Snow” is a street nickname for cocaine and has been referenced in popular television shows. For example, the Netflix series Peaky Blinders, which takes place in England after World War I, shows some of its characters using cocaine and they predominantly refer to it as “snow.”
The description that was included with the Santa sweater on Walmart’s website left not-so-subtle hints that this Santa Claus was intended to look as if he was about to snort cocaine. Twitter user Jason John posted a screengrab of the item description before it was removed from Walmart’s website.
“We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole.
That’s why Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow. He packs it in perfect lines on his coffee table and then takes a big whiff to smell the high quality aroma of the snow. It’s exactly what he needs to get inspired for Christmas Eve.
This Men’s Let It Snow Ugly Christmas Sweater captures that moment when Santa is finally ready to enjoy that sweet, imported snow. It’s also warm and comfy, so you can wear it any time the snow starts blowing this holiday season!”
Walmart Prohibits Third-Party Companies From Selling Items Portraying Illegal Activities
Walmart Canada has since removed the Santa sweater from its website. Outside companies are permitted to sell items via the Walmart Marketplace, but Walmart does not appear to approve each individual item before it hits the website.
The retail giant has a list of Prohibited Items that outside companies are expected to refrain from selling. The list includes controlled substances, illegal drugs, Drug paraphernalia, and syringes. The section that defines “offensive” material includes items that portray: Animal cruelty; any historical or news events; criminal or illegal activity; derogatory stereotyping based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality; hatred; intolerance; natural or man-made disaster(s); tragedy; and violence.
The Santa sweater could be defined as a Prohibited Item because cocaine use is an illegal activity. Walmart Canada issued an apology that was published by the Canadian outlet Global News: “These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website. We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offence this may have caused.”
FUN Wear Sells Other Santa Apparel Designed For Adults Only
The Santa sweater that was sold on Walmart’s website does not appear to be available on FUN Wear’s page, as of this writing. But the company has other Santa-inspired sweaters that would not be appropriate at a children’s party.
For example, there is a sweater that depicts Santa laying flat on his stomach while an alien creature appears to be preparing to… um… probe him with some sort of device. The item description explains that the image portrays what may have occurred after Santa’s sleigh collided with an UFO during one foggy Christmas.
Other designs include Santa sitting on the chimney as if it was a toilet, Santa’s pants appearing to rip as he struggles down the chimney, and one that shows Santa delivering the middle finger underneath the word “Naughty.”