Santa Got Woke: The Changing Face of Christmas In 2019

Melburnians are in for a different Christmas experience this year, with Santa getting a makeover and carols turning into sea shanties.

Ready to kickstart the Christmas holiday, different Santa impersonators have taken to central Melbourne dressed in green to call shoppers out on the use of plastic bags.

Six weeks after the state became one of the last to ban single-use plastic bags, Sustainability Victoria has dressed Santa in his historical alternative colour to hand out free reusable tote bags.

"The holiday period is one of the busiest times of the year and we want to support Victorians to develop better bag habits throughout this season," communications director Katie Pahlow said.

The Chapel Street shopping precinct in Melbourne's CBD is also ditching the traditional rotund, ruddy-faced Santa Claus for an 'ethically conscious Santa'.

Known as 'Summer Santa', this new version of the Christmas character is considered "stylish" and woke".

In his new role, he will share the message of sustainability and climate change.

“Summer Santa has done his homework to reflect our diverse community when he hits our iconic precinct streets," Stonnington Councillor Melina Sehr said.

"He’s a vibrant, stylish, animal-loving, plugged in, woke guy and I can’t wait to say hi and welcome him to Chapel Street Precinct this Christmas.”

Summer Santa and his trusty border collie. Image: Chapel Street Precinct Association

In a statement from the Chapel Street Precinct Association, Christmas is an "important time" to share this message as it is estimated Australians produce 30 percent more waste during this time. 

“Chapel Street is evolving and so too has our beloved Santa,” said Chrissie Maus, Chapel Street Precinct Association General Manager.

“Chapel Street Precinct business owners and residents have always been on the cutting edge, which is why they were keen to star in the Precinct’s CSA videos that promote a more sustainable Christmas."

Summer Santa and Cr Melina Sehr. Image: Chapel Street Precinct Association

A child care centre in inner-city Melbourne has also replaced Santa with a 'Sustainability Pirate' for its end-of-year picnic.

A parent from the unnamed childcare centre received an email explaining the children would be having a "fresh food swap" instead of a Christmas-themed celebration.

The email was sent to Neil Mitchell, host of radio station 3AW Melbourne's morning show, who read part of it out on air on Wednesday.

"This year’s party will be a get-together picnic and fresh food swap for children and families to celebrate the end of year,” it said.

“Sustainability Pirate will be attending and we will have a Nature Treasure Hunt."

Mitchell said the event will not include present-giving or Christmas carols.

Social media has not taken kindly to the removal of a traditional Christmas celebration to end the year.

"Should be a real hit with the kiddies (if of course, they can even say it)" Oh, BTW, to answer the Doc - INSANITY!" said one person on Twitter.

"So did this sustainability pirate die on a ship for our sins and rise from his watery grave 3 days later?" said another.

"The left will never stop their insanity. Seriously a 'Sustainability Pirate'," a user said.

With AAP.