Created By: LeighSabio on November 16, 2011 Last Edited By: LeighSabio on November 20, 2011

Santa Christ

Santa Claus used as a metaphor for Jesus Christ

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Common trope in children's Christmas Specials. It's christmas time, but someone is questioning their faith. Not in Jesus, but in Santa Claus. Maybe their elders have told them that Santa does not exist, or maybe they have come to that conclusion themselves once they realize that it's impossible to visit that many houses in one night. Either way, by the end of the episode, the character has learned An Aesop about faith. It's almost as if Santa Claus functions as a metaphor for Jesus.

This is a prime candidate for Analogy Backfire, since Santa does not, in fact, exist in Real Life. Inverted by many Hollywood Atheists, who will compare belief in Jesus to belief in Santa.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • November 16, 2011
    The 1990s remake of Miracle On34th Street is like this.
  • November 16, 2011
    "Santa Claus Died For Your Sins?"
  • November 16, 2011
    How about just Santa Christ?

    I think there's a good image for this, one of a crucified Santa Claus made in Japan as a criticism of this....
  • November 16, 2011
    In Prancer, a priest learns of a young girl believing that the injured reindeer she found belongs to Santa and uses this in his sermon to illustrate the importance of faith.

    I hope that makes sense.
  • November 16, 2011
    Seconding Santa Christ
  • November 16, 2011
    Santa Christ for sure.
  • November 17, 2011
    A lot of Christians get angry about this, because it supplants faith in God/Jesus, and the holiday is at least nominally a celebration of Jesus' birth. Because belief in Santa yields more tangible and immediate rewards than belief in Jesus, and because he gets a lot more TV time during the season, many kids are inclined to view him as a deity worthy of greater attention. Interestingly, most of the cultural trappings and rituals associated with Christmas are remnants of holidays which predate Christianity, including some aspects of Santa himself, so this trope could be considered justifiable.

    • Calvin has been shown to pray to Santa at least once for toys. He also brings up the similarity in specific, especially the fact that Santa is supposed to be omniscient.
    • A nod to this phenomenon happens in the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour"; in Amelia's introductory scene, she is praying to Santa (at Eastertime) to send help.
  • November 17, 2011
    The crucified Santa Claus is an urban legend.

    Interestingly, Snopes has a picture of an actual crucified Santa (not from Japan and not done by accident) which we could use if it was a lot clearer than it actually is.
  • November 17, 2011
    Or just google "Crucified Santa" and get a ton of stuffed Santas on crosses.
  • November 17, 2011
    Not sure if it fits, but there was an episode of Picket Fences in which young Zachary started saying he wanted to convert to Judaism. Eventually he admitted that because he'd realized there was no Santa, he was having his doubts about Jesus too.
  • November 19, 2011
    Santa Christ is a recurring character on That Guy With The Glasses. If he's not an example, the title needs to be changed.
  • November 20, 2011
  • November 20, 2011
    ^^ Santa Christ on That Guy With The Glasses is definitely not Santa as a metaphor for Jesus Christ. I don't think that stops it from being a good name for this trope. The Picture Of Dorian Gray was the first work to have a male (in this case Dorian himself) be called Prince Charming by the woman who loves him, yet Dorian Gray is definitely not a Prince Charming in any case.

    But there's the chance that this will impede the trope's effectiveness. I don't know. What do you guys think?
  • November 20, 2011
    The Calvin And Hobbes example might make a good page quotation.