It’s the biggest plot hole in all of cinematic history. Why in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary on Christmas Day, would parents in The Santa Clause, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, and SO MANY OTHERS not believe in Santa Claus when Santa Claus IS REAL IN THE MOVIE. It makes zero sense! Americans have watched countless movies since Hallmark and Coca Cola created Santa Claus (google it), and we’ve all just blissfully dismissed this massive contradiction.
But hold on.
What if it’s not a contradiction.
What if I told you Santa is REAL but parents have been brainwashed to THINK he’s NOT.
Let me elaborate.
The majority of what we know about Santa comes from movies. There are multiple powers that we know Santa has but they are all addressed in different ways. Let’s look at some of these “special abilities”.
If Santa really delivers presents to every little boy and girl in the world, he’s gotta put those treats in some sort of bag or container. In The Santa Clause, the bag is endless and can fit millions of presents inside of it although it looks like a normal sized bag. Not only that, but when Santa reaches in, the bag GIVES HIM the EXACT PRESENTS he needs for that house. How convenient? This is also similar to the one in Elf, along with ones in other movies…but gaze upon this MASSIVE SACK Santa straps onto his sleigh in the Polar Express.
REALLY? Look, that’s a massive bag but that would barely fit your average suburbs’ presents in it unless it has some sort of magic abilities. In 7th grade I knew like 12 kids just from my town that got trampolines for Christmas. That bag looks like it could fit maybe 32 tramps tops. SO we gotta assume that it also had other magic abilities despite its absurd size. AKA Santa has access to a magic accessories dealer, like the Nordstroms I imagine God gets his robes from.
Look at this majestic being. Now imagine it pulling an 800 year-old bearded white dude across the globe to deliver presents to good children he’s been spying on all year, and coal to kids who have been, and I quote, “naughty”. For real, an argument FOR Santa is that his concept is too crazy to make up. That being said, if he is real, he has magical flying reindeer. Some say it’s in the food Santa gives them, and some say they’re just born with the ability to fly. Some also say, that if one has a glowing red nose, the other magic flying reindeer will bully him to tears like Keaton Jones. No matter how you picture them, we know Santa has 8 (or more) reindeer that pull him through the night sky to deliver goodies.
Time-Stopping and/or Vehicles Faster than the Speed of Light
If Santa is straight up going from the North Pole, stopping in every child’s house, setting up beautiful displays of presents AND has time to eat a plate of cookies and chug a glass of 2%, HE MUST have some sort of time-altering device. The Duggars’ house alone would take him a minimum of 3 and a half hours.
So now Santa can MANIPULATE TIME AND SPACE. The guy’s supposed to be the human embodiment of cheer but he’s starting to sound more like a black hole.
His Army of Elves
No way Santa is making all these toys himself. It takes me 4 hours to put a dresser from IKEA together. Even if this guy’s the best builder in the world, if even half the Duggar kids ask for anything more complex than an iPod shuffle, no shot it’s getting made in under a year without some help. So he has enough dwarves with expert building skills who LOVE making toys so much they devote their life to it and make this holiday happen. And they LOSE THEIR MINDS over Santa. When Santa walks out in The Polar Express the town explodes like a bunch of 16 year old white boys seeing Eminem perform “Lose Yourself” live at Madison Square Garden.
But whether they’re terrifying (like in the Polar Express), or straight up children, like in the The Santa Clause, it’s clear he’s got numbers of fantastical beings taking orders from him.
He Can See You AT ALL TIMES
He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. One of the most iconic lines in all of yuletide music history. This power is addressed in multiple ways. Most of the time Santa has some sort of magic orb (or Snowball according to Santa Claus Is Coming to Town), or starting in 2004, he decided to make little dolls that you could buy in your local Target for way too much money that report on all of the children who can afford them’s actions. Whether you have one of these little minions or not, Santa always knows what you’re doing. He is om-freaking-niscient.
So maybe Santa’s magic bag isn’t even a bag maybe he just pre-orders a million UPS cargo planes and makes them sign confidentiality statements. Maybe Santa’s army of elves is really just a North Pole eskimo tribe who study the ins and outs of engineering and have a religion based on generosity. Maybe Santa has access to a black hole in the North Pole that, when entered, allows him to travel within our atmosphere at a slower speed. MAYBE Santa’s got the illuminati hacking all of the cameras on Earth to keep tabs on how we’ve all been behaving. But, let’s be honest, those are not good rationalizations. Between his never-ending bag, his air-born fleet of reindeer, his time traveling powers, his militia of highly skilled immortal little people or his knowledge of EVERYTHING going on AT ALL TIMES, it doesn’t seem like I’m making a great argument for how REAL Santa is. But, what if his unbelievability is actually the SECRET to ALL of these powers…and more.
Yup, imma bout to go Josh Groban on all of y’all.
I think Elf is the perfect movie…to help me prove my point (but it’s also a perfect movie). In Elf we know that Walter Hobbs is on the naughty list and thinks it’s completely insane for Buddy to think he is one of Santa’s elves, because Santa doesn’t exist (presumably to Walter). We also see Emily (Michael’s mother and Buddy’s step mother), buying presents on Christmas Eve, presumably for her son. Yet, later we see Santa present Michael with one his gifts, a new skateboard. This seems like just another classic “it’s just a Christmas movie, Santa is real but we just have to pretend like the parents don’t believe in him for the plot to work”. I agree, the parents don’t have to believe, but someone does, or else Santa’s sleigh wouldn’t fly.
The “Clausometer”. It measures Christmas Spirit, which powers Santa’s flying sleigh. We see it go up when Michael starts reading from Santa’s list of what everyone wants. As more people hear about the specific presents they want, the meter goes up and the sleigh gets more power. So we can assume, from this movie, that somehow Christmas spirit and BELIEVING can be converted into a fuel for magical things. So is it wild to think that belief in Kris Kringle could also be how Santa’s reindeer can fly? and how he can manipulate time? and how he can see what every child in the world is doing simulataneously at all times? (Wasn’t going to comment on how creepy that concept is because it’d be too cliché but WOW that sentence was tough to ignore).
It’s a common theme in almost every Christmas movie. They even take the matter to court in Miracle on 34th Street. Believing in Santa is important and when you watch almost any Christmas movie with Santa in it you will find some sort of propaganda for belief in him. Now if Santa has all the powers previously listed, would it be wild to think he also has the ability to make parents BELIEVE they bought their children presents, and put them under the tree, when in reality Santa did all the work? I don’t think so. I think if he has all those other powers that’d honestly be quite simple.
If he can time travel and has access to multiple amenities that bend the laws of physics, time, and space, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be too hard for him to send an elf with a magic dust to a home and spread it on the parents while they sleep to make them dream that they buy their kids presents and put them under the tree. Even if it isn’t that terrifying (especially if the elves DO look like the ones from The Polar Express) theory, we don’t understand how most of Santa’s powers work, we’re really just taking our best guess in these films. In Prep and Landing, the Pixar Christmas short, Elves are like spies who enter the home before Santa, and even have a knockout gas that makes kids think everything was a dream if they see them.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “why would Santa want parents to NOT believe in him?”. And I had trouble with this also when concocting this theory. If Santa even COULD trick parents into believing it was them and that he ISN’T real, WHY would he WANT to?
Well, I’ll tell you why
If you’re reading this you’ve probably been told by a friend, a parent, a loved one, and the majority of society, that Santa isn’t real. Once you hit like 6th grade and you’ve taken basic astronomy and learned about, you know, how the universe works on the most basic level, it gets harder and harder to believe in Santa. Then you get older and you start just telling your parents what you want; you don’t write letters, you don’t pray to Santa before you go to bed at night (please tell me I wasn’t the only one who did this BANKING on him watching while I sleep), but all in all you lose the belief in Santa. And your parents either tell you, or they just know you know and don’t bring it up like my Mom does and it’s adorable.
BUT that being said, the only people in the world who truly whole-heartedly believe in Old Saint Nick are little kids. I remember being 6 years old at recess and legitimately having full on debate team style arguments with kids about Santa being real. To them, it’s like questioning if the sky is blue. Of course he’s real. And the best part is almost every kid Christmas morning runs into their parents room and has some sort of story about hearing sleigh bells, seeing someone go down the chimney, or spotting reindeer flying above the neighbor’s house. Most parents will chalk this up to a child’s imagination, but have you ever considered that maybe they’re telling the truth?
If something, like the sky being blue, is universally known, you don’t have to believe in it. It’s just a fact. But if there’s something you can’t see, something you can’t touch, something you can’t test in a lab or support with physical evidence and STILL with all of your heart, soul and mind BELIEVE that it exists? That is powerful. So when kids grow up and they stop believing because their older brother gets mad one day and decides to “break the news” about Santa to torture them or they read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (who yes, broke the news to me about Santa in that book and ruined my childhood), they lose this power and join the other side of non-believers. The side that older kids are on, parents are on, and people who don’t celebrate Christmas are on (nothing wrong with that, just saying they really don’t have a reason to believe and if they did that would just be sad because they’d probably feel like their religion isn’t true if an all-powerful man is giving out free stuff to kids just because they believe in Jesus and not their god and/or gods). This side is much less fun to be on (again, not trying to knock other religions here), but it is necessary. Santa needs doubters in order to make him something you have to believe in, because if people “just know”, he will lose all of his powers. It’s the same reason Michael brings Santa’s book on TV instead of, you know, Santa.
I’m not here to tell you that Santa is real, but I am here to tell you that it’s a hell of a lot more fun believing he is than not. It’s easy to say all of the universal truths we know have been studied and researched on for years by some of the world’s brightest people in order to disprove all of the goofy things kids believe Santa can do, but do you really want to be Neil?
Of course you don’t. Neil sucks. Maybe the elf Santa sent gave him just a little bit too much of the “non-belief” magic dust, but overall, making sure kids believe in Santa is one of the purest things we do as human beings. And if we believe in God or gods or any sort of higher power or supernatural phenomena, is it really all that crazy to think something like it could possibly exist? Maybe, if we all lived a little bit more by the “Charlie Calvin Philosophy”, little kids wouldn’t be the only ones powering Santa’s sleigh this Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas, don’t stop believin’.