Have you ever watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town? If you haven’t, I highly recommend both, especially the animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (not that Jim Carrey isn’t amazing). Well anyway, if you have watched them, then you should know about the “villains,” the Grinch and Burgermeister Meisterburger, and obviously in the end Santa Claus is the good guy who brings joy to all the little kids.
What would happen if the roles were reversed? How would you feel if Santa Claus was accused of being the bad guy? Everything in each story would stay the same, but Santa’s role would be darker and more twisted than what we’re used to.
Let’s start with The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, since I’m sure most people have watched it, at least in some form, or know the general story. Anyway, the Grinch holds a grudge against all the Whos down in Whoville, but what if he actually had a solid reason as to why?
The Whos are always exceedly happy and singy to the point that it kind of makes you want to punch someone in the face, right? Well, that’s because all of them have been completely brainwashed by Santa who put them in this drug-like state that makes them completely oblivious to everything in the world. The Grinch just happens to be the only one who has not been affected, because he lives alone on a mountain and not in Whoville.
The Grinch simply becomes so infuriated with all the Whos for not listening to him when he tried to explain what Santa had done to everyone that he takes everything a step further and steals everything that represented Santa. He takes his dog, Max, and dresses him like a reindeer and disguises himself as Santa Claus to trick any of the Whos, who are too oblivious to know the difference.
After the Grinch invades a few houses in search of anything Santa-related, he enters the very popular Cindy Lou Who’s house. As the Grinch is casually taking down the Christmas tree, Cindy wakes up and enters the living room, wondering why in the world Santa is taking away the thing that makes people the happiest. Christmas-related things, it turns out, were the source of Santa’s brainwashing ability.
Once the tree leaves the room, Cindy Lou Who begins to realize Santa’s deception. The Grinch notices the little girl standing in the corner of the room crying, and asks, “Little girl, what is the matter? I promise you I am not the actual Santa Claus.”
Cindy is too confused to fully understand what is happening, her puzzled look prompting the Grinch to go into a monologue about why he personally hates Santa, and why everyone else should hate him, too. Santa’s manipulation is revealed to little, naive Cindy, but she is, unfortunately, too young to fully understand the Grinch’s point of view, so she completely disregards everything he says.
After the Grinch leaves Cindy’s house, he goes to everyone else’s house in Whoville and takes anything and everything that could possibly relate to Santa. He takes “every present! Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums! Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums!” as well as “the Who’s feast.” One by one, up the chimney they went to the Grinch’s sled and on they went.
As the Grinch and Max make their way up to the top of their mountain, the Grinch starts to feel a bit fuzzy in the head. The Grinch realizes the flaw in his plan. He took all of the things that represented Santa Claus from the Whos, but now he is immersed in it all himself.
The Grinch is so close to the top of the mountain, but can’t quite make it. Santa has him in his grasp, and the Grinch gets brainwashed too. The Grinch forgets everything he did to prevent Santa from controlling the Whos. Santa’s drug-like concoction takes over the Grinch, and instead of dumping all of the Santa related items off the side of the mountain as he had planned, his mind shrinks three sizes that day. The Grinch turns Max around and races back down to Whoville and returns everything to exactly the way it had been before. Now Santa not only has control of the Whos, but also of the only one who could have possibly stopped him, the Grinch.
If you thought that was trippy, just wait for this one… Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is probably a less well known movie than How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but it is not any less twisted. In fact, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is, in some ways, a musical that really taps into the predatory side of Santa Claus. If you have never listened to the song “If You Sit on my Lap Today,” listen to it now– as in right now– before you read on.
The gist of this movie is that before Santa Claus existed, Kris Kringle was a young man who lived on a mountain with elf-like people, completely secluded from actual normal civilization.
One day, Kris decides to go down to the town, Sombertown, to give toys to the children. However, Burgermeister Meisterburger has officially banned toys. Not for the reason it says in the movie, but rather because Meisterburger is the only one who has heard of the infamous Kris Kringle and his stalkerish, boundary-crossing behavior. Meisterburger is trying to keep Kris from damaging the lives of the young children in the town. All of the extensive laws that Meisterburger imposes are actually for the good of the town.
In the song “If You Sit on my Lap Today,” the lyrics pretty much sum up Kris’s scandalous behavior with the children. Even the title is a little fishy. One of the verses is literally “a kiss a toy is the price you’ll pay.” CREEPY x10!!!!!
If you listened to the song before you read this story, like I said you should, then there’s really no need to explain the level of creepiness Santa, I mean Kris, displays with the children. Even the whole naughty and nice thing: if a child is naughty then they will be punished (suspicious), but if they’re good, then they will get a reward. But is the reward really worth it?
In the movie, Kris goes through a list of who has been naughty and nice. His final decision is that they’re all nice. Nice for him.
Well anyway, the songs are not the only things completely messed up about Kris. Once illegal toys become prevalent thanks to Kris, Meisterburger creates a new law that makes everyone lock their doors and windows so Kris cannot enter their houses anymore.
In the dead of night– not during the day when he can be seen– Kris comes back to Sombertown with more toys, and realizes that all of the doors are locked. But, of course, he does not take the hint.
He believes that he has to give a toy to a sick girl who did not actually ask for anything. Once he realizes that Meisterburger did not consider the chimneys as a source of entry into the houses of poor little helpless children, he decides to use that to get in. So, we don’t just have a guy who doesn’t care about boundaries, but a guy who also can’t take a hint and is insanely devoted to doing whatever he thinks is best, whether people are into it or not.
All Meisterburger wants to do is save the children, but he continually fails because Kris just cannot resist temptation. In the end, Meisterburger does manage to capture Kris, but he escapes thanks to his friends who have no idea of how inappropriate the things Kris is doing is. They earnestly believe that all he wants to do is give toys to children whether they want them or not.
Well the movie pretty much ends with Mr. Kringle getting away with everything and becoming Santa Claus. To this day he still enters the houses of children, whether anyone wants him there or not. Maybe, the reason why people stop believing in Santa Claus is because they just can’t take the truth…
This concludes yet another piece by me, Emma Abbott, and hopefully it was not as cringy as the last one, which you can read here. I do sincerely apologize if I have officially ruined your childhood. That was definitely not my intention whatsoever. Well, I hope you have a merry Christmas, and make sure you lock your doors and windows, and block your chimney, because Santa will always find you. 😉