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Santa Claus as a Chaotic Figure

St. Nick/Santa Claus is often presented as a jolly, warm, and overall positive spirit of the holiday season. However, a closer look at other culture’s "St. Nick" figures (creepier ones like Krampus) and the like could present a darker side. Aside from that, the article would also discuss or look at the deeper motivations behind the St. Nick figure. Why make toys? Why distribute them? What is his motivation? In some ways Santa can be considered "chaotic good"–a figure operating generally for good under their own moral structure. No one has told St. Nick to do these things, he does so of his own volition and for his own reasons. Whose system of morals does the Santa judge children by? What would happen if children were judged on a different system of morals–perhaps "good" children were no longer the traditional moral good, but rather the most ambitious or the most cunning children? Additionally, the santa *punishes* bad children. This goes against the traditional "reform" system where those who are bad are brought gently to good. Krampus type figures even bodily kidnap or harm children to punish them. (A fun and possibly seasonal article.)

  • Interesting topic! I like it. But it might help to ground it in some specific movie versions of Santa. Maybe even including the Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss? – Ben Hufbauer 7 years ago
  • Great topic; there are many, many Santas you could explore. The Santa from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer would be one of my favorites for this topic because he is so respected, but spends much of the film acting like a jerk toward Rudolph, the elves, etc. Tim Allen's version is another great one because at first he doesn't even want to *be* Santa. (Actually, that opens up a whole new batch of topics like, what does being Santa mean? Who is considered worthy to take the role? What are Santa stories trying to communicate to real people about this figure, and is he *just* for children in the modern world? Anyway, my two cents. – Stephanie M. 7 years ago