The “Real” Santa

Everyone pulls out all their favorite Christmas movies this time of year, and it’s not a Christmas movie without some appearance of Santa. But we’re torn between so many different versions of him, it’s hard to decide who we want to most represent him. So I leave the choice to you. Comment below to leave your favorite Santa persona. 

You’ve got your choice of:

Tim Allen

You wouldn’t think divorced, workaholic, estranged father Scott Calvin would be capable of filling the big black boots, but when he’s given the job, he certainly gets it done. His movies may get worse and worse, but try to resist the temptation of leaving him soy milk, if you can – even if he does tell you he’s lactose intolerant! 


Ed Asner gives us a different take on Santa Claus in the movie Elf. He’s kinda mean and grumpy, and doesn’t hesitate to shoo prying kids off with a stick. But you’ve got to give him a break – I’d imagine it’d be tiring being jolly and giddy for so long. But, he’s kind of absent-minded here as well. I mean, was the orphanage really the last place he visited that Christmas Eve when Buddy crawled into the bag? If not, how did he miss the wriggling, crying baby stowaway in his bag the rest of the night?

In Arthur Christmas, Santa-ing is a job that is passed down in the St. Nicholas family. Malcolm, the man that’s been Santa for the last 70 years, is ready to let one of his sons, Arthur or Steve, take the reigns. (Spoiler: Arthur wins.) So you’ve got your tech-savvy Steve, the inventor of the S-1; Malcolm, who lived to see the crossover from the out-dated sleigh and reindeer; and Arthur, who realizes it doesn’t matter how the gifts get delivered – just that they do. All in all, it’s refreshing to see that Santa’s family is as dysfunctional as the rest of us. And even Santa needs help to pick up the slack for just one missing child.


Who’d have known Santa had red hair? And isn’t it a bit misleading to say that it’s claymation, when clearly they’re all made of wood? Nonetheless, it’s nice to see that even in Santa’s humble origins, he still had a heart of gold. 

Vote for your favorite Santa below, or add your own favorite. 

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Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

40 thoughts on “The “Real” Santa

  1. I still like the Rankin & Bass Santas. Besides the one you have, Mickey Rooney voices Santa in The Year Without a Santa Claus and there’s also the Santa in Rudolf.


  2. I was a full time foster parent for five years . I fostered many kids, and it’s very rewarding. It can be pretty challenging too. 🙂 God bless you in your endeavor


  3. Have to add a tangent: Snow. Always snows just at the right moment in every Christmas film – even the ones without so much as a Santa cameo. Box of tissues and a cup of hot chocolate please!


  4. My favorite Santa is the one in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (only the original) with Burl Ives as the Snowman. I haven’t watched it yet. I doubt my teenagers are going to be interested in this one this year. 😉


  5. My favorite has got to be Scott Calvin. When I was little, that was the Christmas movie we’d all watch as a family. It was also my little brother’s all-time favorite movie, so we ended up watching it year-round for a while.


  6. What about the shady Santas from Jingle All the Way? On second thought, I’ll pick Scott Calvin. Haven’t seen those films in some time but I’ll be picking them up again, given the season.


  7. I can’t believe I never thought about all the differences in the Santa characters portrayed on television and in movies. I look at this time of year with the eyes of a child (side effect of teaching first grade I guess). I love every Santa I encounter for different reasons. I’d be here a long time to go through them and it would take about a lot of space to explain them all. The bottom line is no matter what package the media decides to wrap Santa up in, he’s awesome! Merry Christmas!


  8. Out of all of your choices I would have to go with Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. It took him alone time to except his new role in life, but once he got it HE GOT IT. The Santa I liked best is Kris Kringle in the original Miracle on 34th St. How can anybody disagree with me when you have the real Santa Clause (according to the US Post Office and the state of New York) playing himself.


  9. I loved the Santa from Miracle on 34th…but out of your choices, Tim Allen for sure.. also loved Tom Hanks in Polar Express for a different take on the theme….and what about all the scrooge movies? My favorite is Bill Murray in Scrooged!


  10. Ahh yes, the claymation Santa. I’d forgotten him. I’m going to have to pull that DVD out so the grandkids can watch it on the weekend.
    I love the Tim Allen version of Santa I think.


  11. Are only movie Santa’s allowed because I love the Coka- Cola Santa. But of your choices I would have to go with the one from Elf. I mean who could be jolly all the time? He’s more realistic (Plus he’s looks most like the Coke Santa)


  12. I’ve always thought that Scott Calvin/Tim Allen was the best Santa. I don’t think I’d like the other ones sneaking into my house at night while I was asleep.


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