Some Santas Sleigh — and Some Don’t

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by Angel Baylock

As Christmas is approaching quickly, the holiday cheer bounds along right behind it, one of those forms being Christmas media. This holiday season isn’t big enough for all of the Santas in Christmas to be given their good graces, so this is our list of a few of the best and worst Santas, and why!

Best: Santa, “The Christmas Chronicles(2018) and “The Christmas Chronicles 2” (2020)

This may be all thanks to Kurt Russell, who was casted as Old Man Christmas, but Santa Claus is given a witty refreshing character in “The Christmas Chronicles”! In both movies, he saves Christmas for the world and everyone personally involved. It can be argued that he made their lives better after each interaction. This Santa reconnects people and families, as he does in both movies with the main characters, Kate and Teddy. He is quick to getting out of situations, such as airplane delays, bar costs, and even jail, all while making sure everyone around him is not dull to the holiday cheer. Everything he does is also executed it with a bit of humorous wit, in contrast to the typical goody-two-shoes/innocent Santa.

Worst: Santa, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

It seems like neither of the Santas in this movie do right by Christmas, as the true Santa isn’t any better than his alarming replacement. In “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, Santa is deemed helpless and doesn’t even seem to try to combat the new changes that those of Halloween Town thrust upon him. He stumbles over himself in attempt to comprehend everything that is going on, from Jack Skellington breaking the news of his replacement, to his own literal kidnap, more than he is able to do anything to save the holiday that he is in charge of! If the real Santa’s problem solving skills are in any way similar to this one’s, then Christmas would have been doomed!

Best: Christmas/Nicholas, “A Boy Called Christmas” (2021)

In this more recent film, we are introduced to Nikolas, or Christmas, (dubbed by his mother), who is seemingly the younger version of St. Nicolas that goes on a riveting adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the village of the elves, Elfhelm in search of hope.

Within this journey, he finds hope within himself and projects this onto others, despite their wrongdoings onto him. In example, he gifts his aunt chocolate and the elves around him the joy of Christmas, despite both parties not treating him so kindly to start. He does this with no complaints, not even a word of his father who died tragically not too long before his good deeds. By bringing the kingdom and those all around him joy and gifts whether they deserved it or not, Nikolas shows the radiance of good within himself to forgive and give though not having much of anything before this journey and brings the warmth of the Christmas spirit to all viewers.

Worst: Santa Claus, “A Christmas Story” (1983)

There are several things that are petrifying about this Santa. To start, this Santa does not carry the burden of delivering countless presents and cheer across the world, but one of hearing what kids want in the mall for a few hours a day. Regardless of this easier task, he remains cruel and terrifying to all kids unlucky enough to sit on his lap. What’s worse? Only his legion of the taunting mall elves that push kids down the slide to the end of their visit. Through the eyes of our protagonist, Ralphie Parker, this experience compares to that of the way one would imagine sliding towards the fiery gates of Hell after being ridiculed for wanting a BB gun at his age. Truly traumatic, to say the least.

Best: The Grinch, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2004)

Despite his first and more negative intentions of being Santa, The Grinch truly emulates the meaning of Christmas by the end of his screen time. Yes, he does steal the presents, decorations, and all things jolly from the Whoville citizens the night before Christmas, but by doing this, he shows them that Christmas didn’t just depend on the materialistic items that they obsessed over throughout the entirety of the movie, but the people who care about you and the community as a whole. With this he returns the things he stole with a heart that is two sizes bigger than before and is open to spending Christmas with them!

Worst: Jack Skellington, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

To start, his obliviousness to the damages that he causes along with the people around him is quite alarming. Though it may have been humorous to watch through a screen, and though he had “good intentions”, Jack Skellington not only ruins Christmas, but practically terrorizes every boy and every girl involved with torture toys under the trees. Not to mention he causes chaos in his own community, as he flees to a world of curiosity that was not made for him. He makes all these mistakes without a second thought and without even attempting to hear out the people around him. Talk about setting everyone involved up for failure…

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