The U.S. Postal Service has ordered a letter carrier to stop wearing a Santa Claus outfit after a co-worker complained.
Bob McLean has been dressing up as Santa for the past decade, donning a red suit to deliver the mail along his route in Bellevue, WA. He even has a snow white beard – that’s real.
“The government is shutting me down because it’s a non-postal regulation uniform, McLean told the Bellevue Reporter. “This was the first time; I don’t know what happened. I don’t step on anyone’s toes. Being Santa isn’t religious to me; it’s secular. It’s about giving.”
But the U.S. Postal Service said it’s about looking like a letter carrier.
“The Santa Claus suit is not in compliance with the Postal Service’s dress code for letter carriers,” Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson told Fox News & Commentary.
He confirmed that someone was not too happy about a colleague dressed like Jolly Old Saint Nick.
“He had been doing this for some and there had not been an issue and a couple of weeks ago one of his fellow carriers raised the issue with management,” Swanson said. “The postmaster acknowledges that until one of his fellow carriers made an issue out of it he was okay with it,” Swanson said.
By most accounts, McLean’s Santa suit was well-received along his route – especially the children.
“Little kids – they just stare because they wonder,” said Brenda Archuletta in an interview with the Bellevue Reporter.
“I love seeing Santa,” Rachel Young told television station News 9. “It does bring cheer. It brings something to old Main Street that other places don’t have.”
Regardless of what the Postal Service said, McLean told News 9 he plans on defying orders.
“Kinda going rogue,” he said. “Might get in trouble.”
The Postal Service said there was no leeway in the dress code.
“The postmaster didn’t feel he had any choice in the matter,” Swanson said.