People love to tell stories at Christmastime, particularly about Santa. While we know that the origin of Santa is derived from Saint Nicholas of Myra, people just love telling alternate tales of where Santa came from. Here are some of my all-time favorite stories of where Santa came from.
This Rankin & Bass classic introduced us to the origin of Santa independently of his historical and mythological forebears. A baby is left at the doorstep of the Burgomeister Meisterburger. The grumpy old autocrat tells his henchman to take the baby to the orphanage, but a blustery winter wind whisks the baby away to the doorstep of the Kringle family. The stop animation special leads us through a number of twists and turns until Santa is a fully fleshed out character with a brand new origin. Classic family fun!
This charming movie with Dudley Moore had Santa and his wife as a kind, elderly couple who were on their way to deliver gifts to the extended family. They succumbed to winter weather and joined a colony of elves to continue their toymaking in perpetuity. It’s a bit grim, but it does explain why Santa and his wife seem to be immortal.
Another common theme in parallel Santa origins is that it is a title that is passed from one person to the next. Here are some of my favorite stories that follow this angle.
Tim Allen is a divorced dad trying to connect with his son on Christmas Eve. When Santa falls off of his roof, the red suit becomes his destiny. This is such a funny movie. I look forward to watching it every single year. The transformation from self-absorbed corporate hack to the living symbol of generosity and holiday spirit is wonderful to watch.
Jim Varney is Ernest P. Worrell in this quirky holiday treat. Ernest is a taxi driver who picks up Santa from the airport. Santa has come to Orlando, Florida to pass the torch to another man before the magic leaves him entirely and cancels Christmas forever. Ernest’s zany behavior is a treat, as always. I always keep this on my Christmas playlist to ensure I get a smile for the holidays.
These stories and others bring a new wrinkle to the origin of Santa Claus and that much more magic to the holiday season. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you know of other good Santa origins, please let me know in the comments!