My daughter has always been a Santaphobe, just like me when I was a tiny tot. I was sympathetic. And honestly, it made things easier. I saved money on forced, formal pictures, and I got all the credit for Christmas morning presents, not wanting to scare her by saying a man had been in the house.
I mean come on, the dude's scary. Not clown scary or Randy Quaid scary, but scary just the same. The burglary. The remote, unabomber style outpost. The tiny, cultish followers. That maniacal laugh. The constant, harsh judgments of children. Besides, when that suit and beard are on, you have no idea what freakish villain may be hiding underneath. Here are some cinematic Santas that serve my point.
5. Tim Allen in The Santa Clause: Come on, an advertising exec who's lost his heart putting on pounds, growing a beard, embracing the world of fantasy then climbing into your house, despite the fact that your parents have been playing the part of Santa all your life? The LA Times lists him as one of the all-time best Santas. Sorry, I'd cower in fear and reach for the shotgun.
4. CGI Santa in The Polar Express: Humans in earlier computer animated movies were just all wrong. The strange, constant motions, the hollow gaze, it's all just terribly eerie. And eerie does not a happy Santa make. I wouldn't let such a sick creation anywhere near my plate of cookies.
3. Jeff Gillen in A Christmas Story: The LA Times rightly calls Christmas Story's department store Santa "grotesque, bloated, and debauched, slouched on his throne of power like a corrupt Roman emperor." He mocks your choice of gifts then forces you down a slide against your will? This is the exact scenario I pictured with my own department store Santas, and it's why I avoided them.
2. Billy Chapman in Silent Night, Deadly Night: How could I leave off an actual killer Santa? Made in my formative youth, maybe the thought of Santa as a bearded Freddy Krueger cast the old man in a bit of a negative light for me.
1. The Grinch: So how do you know that the man in the red suit isn't some foul alien beast never known to man and determined to reign misery on him? You don't. The red suit and the padding cover up such hideousness. I know he comes around in the end, but I'd chase him off with a pitchfork before he ever had a chance to have a change of heart.
Are your kids scared of Santa? Do you get why now?