The Truth About Santa Claus
Jay N. Forrest

         "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).

         Where did Santa Claus come from? We see his face at Christmas in stores, homes, and businesses of all kinds. There is simply no way to avoid him, his smiling face greets us everywhere we turn. For a season that is suppose to be the celebration of Christ's birth, there sure is a lot more of Santa Claus then Jesus Christ.
        Why so little of Christ and so much of Santa? Whoever this Santa Claus is, he is the true central figure of Christmas. As manger scenes of Christ's birth become outlawed from all public property, this fictitious character is plastered everywhere. The fact is that Jesus Christ offends, Santa Claus doesn't.
        Some may view all that I have to say as mere trivial matters, but do not be so hasty. Do not forget that there is nothing trivial in the spiritual realm. A little compromise here, a little compromise there, slowly eats away at one's spiritual life, till the heart is but a barren wilderness, and conviction is but sand blown by the wind.
        I must confess that in researching this topic I was rather shocked at what I found. I have always felt that Santa Claus was a godless myth that Christians should have nothing to do with. But after my research I believe that the Santa Claus myth was devised by the devil to destroy souls. Not only does my research clearly reveal a intelligent devilish scheme behind it, but its deadly effects.
        I have had the opportunity to preach this message at a church, the effects were interesting. Some simply could not understand what the big deal was. It seems that a spiritual cloud has settled upon the minds of Christians. Some would even have us save and sanctify this myth. But God only saves and sanctifies people.
        Another thing that really bothers me is this statue of Santa kneeling next to baby Jesus. To the world it no doubt appears that one myth is kneeling to another. To me it confuses what is real with what is not real. Furthermore it doesn't validate Jesus Christ, it makes Jesus Christ validate the myth. No wonder people are trying to demythologize the Bible.
        My research has taking me many hours over a seven year period. My conclusions are not hasty generalization but clear deductions from Biblical and historical fact. It is with a sincere prayer for spiritual discernment and Divine guidance that I now present to you my findings.

St. Nicholas and Thor

        The name of Santa Claus is derived from "Saint Nicholas." We don't know a great deal about Nicholas for certain, most of what is known is the legends and myths about his care for the poor, children, prisoners, and sailors. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Saints explains, "The facts about Nicholas extend no further than that he was bishop of Myra in Lycia (south-western Turkey) at some point in the forth century."[1] That he was considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church indicates that he was known for his good deeds, many of which were said to be toward children. This was one of the reasons why he was chosen to be the patron saint of Children.
        A patron saint is, according to Webster's Dictionary, "looked upon as the special guardian of a person, place, institution, etc."[2] So St. Nicholas is the special guardian of children. Saints, according to Roman Catholicism, also answer prayers. "We should invoke the saints," writes the Catholic Abolphe Tanquerey, "in order to obtain through their powerful intercession the graces we need."[3] So saint Nicholas is the special guardian of children, and they are to pray to saint Nicholas to obtain gifts of grace. That sounds suspiciously close to asking Santa Claus for gifts of toys. And such a practice is not endorsed by even one verse of Scripture.
        But obviously the modern day Santa Claus is more than a person dressing up like the bishop of Myra. He doesn't even look like a bishop. The Encyclopedia of Religion, in a revealing article, said, "Santa Claus is an American invention; he combines features of the traditional children's saint, Nicholas of Myra, with some elements of the Germanic fire god, Thor, who fought the giants of ice and snow from his home in the polar regions."[4] The Wordsworth Dictionary of Saints adds that, the "Dutch settlers in North America created the modern figure of Santa Claus by linking Saint Klaes with the Scandinavian god Thor, figure of reward and punishment whose chariot was driven by goats."[5]
        Thor is a Pagan god, and what the Gentiles sacrifice, the Bible says, "they sacrifice to demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20). Thor then, is a demon. And according to the above articles the Dutch took the attributes of a demon and combined them with the attributes of a Catholic saint, and came up with Santa Claus. Why would a demon take on the name of a saint, unless he wanted to transform "himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). Evil, if it appeared evil, would fool no one. Yet the Bible says that Satan "deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). Have you been fooled by appearances? Has his cheeks like roses and a nose like a cherry deceived you?  "Jolly old St. Nicholas a demon, I can hardly believe it." Believe it.
        Thor, as we have said, was the god of fire. This explains why our modern day Santa Claus is often associated with fire. He enters the house by the chimney, and leaves his gifts by the fireplace. Satan also is associated with fire, "the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). Nor is it an accident that Santa's suit matches in color to that of Satan himself, that "fiery red dragon" (Revelation 12:3).

Santa's Nature and Names

        A closer look at this mysterious immortal who flies through the sky, may reveal some startling facts. In the children's story, "The Night Before Christmas," we read these words, "He was chubby and plump - a right jolly old elf." It is interesting to note that this poem portrays Santa as an elf. An elf, according to Webster's New World Dictionary, is "a tiny, often prankish fairy, supposedly exercising magic powers and haunting woods and hills."[6] And what great magical powers Santa has. Not only can he fly, put the whole world's toys in a tiny sleigh, but he just puts his finger beside his nose, and up the chimney he goes. Magic is Satanic and has always been condemned by the Bible.[7].
        Yet we celebrate "the most magical time of the year." Webster's says that magic is "the general term for. . . Occult power."[8] It is synonymous with sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry. The Bible says that "those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21). Yet we encourage our kids to believe in a man who does magic, and hence is a wizard or witch. Santa Claus is a sorcerer, for he practices witchcraft. And like witches he claims to be able to fly. Could this be a part of the reason for the widespread interest in the occult? Think about it. Christina Hole, in her book Christmas and Its Customs, goes so far as to suggest that Santa Claus, "may be an older pagan spirit, to whom the saint's name has been lent to make him slightly more respectable in Christian eyes."[9]
        It is also interesting to learn what Webster's Dictionary says about a couple of Santa's reindeer. It tells us that at least two of the names of Santa's reindeer are named after pagan gods. Cupid is the Roman god of sexual love and is identified with the Greek god Eros.[10] Doner is the German god of thunder.[11]
        The names of Santa Claus reveal much about him. He is known as Father Christmas.[12] Jesus said, "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). He is also called Kris Kringle, which Webster's tells is German for Christ Child.[13] So Santa is both Christ and God. "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22). Truly Santa is Satan's work of deception. Truly this is a "cunningly devised" fable (2 Peter 1:16).
        According to Webster's Dictionary, Old Nick is derived from Nicholas and is one of the names of "the devil."[14] Indeed Santa is Satan embodied in an illusion. To  many children Santa is more important then God, seeing that God never visits their home with many gifts of toys.

Santa is God

        Satan's greatest desire was and still is, to be "like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14). It was the devil himself who has no doubt devised this mythical god-like character we call Santa Claus. It was the devil, then, who has made Santa "like the Most High." Let us examine how he has cunningly made Santa to be god-like.
        First, Santa comes each year from the North, like God. Some scholars believe that heaven is located in the Northern part of the universe (Isaiah 14:13; Psalm 75:6; Job 26:7).
        Second, Santa is immortal, like God, for he never dies (1 Timothy 1:17; Deuteronomy 32:40).
        Third, Santa is eternal, like God, for he has always been (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2).
        Fourth, Santa has the ability to defy the laws of nature, like God, for his reindeer can fly, he can hold the world's toys in his tiny sleigh, and he can go up the chimney with the touch of his nose. In other words, he is omnipotent, that is, all powerful (Matthew 19:26; Revelation 19:6).
        Fifth, Santa, like God, "sees you when you're sleeping." In other words, he is omnipresent, that is, everywhere present (Psalm 139:7-8; Hebrews 4:13).
        Sixth, Santa, like God, "knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake." In other words, he is omniscient, that is, all knowing (Psalm 139:2; 147:5).
        Seventh, Santa is a universal judge, like God, for "you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town (Psalm 58:11; Hebrews 12:23).
        Eighth, Santa judges the deeds of all little girls and boys, and rewards them accordingly, like God (1 Peter 1:17; Romans 2:16).
        Ninth, Santa, like God, must have all wisdom in order to judge justly (Proverbs 3:19; Romans 11:33).
        Tenth, Santa, like God, is to be feared. "You better watch out," or no presents (Matthew 10:28; 1 Peter 2:17).
        Eleventh, like God Santa has a book of remembrance, he's "making a list and checking it twice" (Malachi 3:16; Revelation 20:12).
        Twelfth, Santa, like God, is petitioned for forgiveness of wrongs, "you better tell Santa you're sorry" (Matthew 6:12; 1 John 1:9).
        Thirteenth, Santa, like God, can forgive little girls and boys if they promise to be better next year (Mark 2:7; Psalm 103:3).
        Fourteenth, Santa is petitioned for gifts, like God (Matthew 6:9; John 16:23).
        Fifteenth, Santa is to be pleased, like God, or else no gifts (1 Thessalonians 4:1; Hebrews 11:5).
        Sixteenth, Santa's coming is watched and longed for, like that of the Lord's (Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:11).
        This is more than just coincidence, it is the very masterpiece of Satanic subtlety. Satan's desire is still to be like the Most High, and to steal the glory that belongs to God. While God is calling us to celebrate the birth of His Son, Satan is also having a celebration - the coming of Santa Claus. Santa Claus steals the show, takes center stage, and Christ is all but forgotten.
        The following exert shows just how far it can go. The article is entitled, "Ho! Ho! Ho! I Am God." It is from a 1994 edition of The Onion. It is by Santa Claus to boys and girls. It reads in part, "I love visiting each and every one of your homes, stuffing your stockings with toys, and enjoying the milk and cookies you leave for me. But mostly I love Christmas because it's the celebration of the birth of my son, Jesus the Christ. You see, I'm God. . . . Don't I look familiar? I'm old, I have a white beard, I love everyone. I'm the same God as the one you and your mommy and daddy worship on Sundays.....
        "Okay, I admit it. I'm not God. But I'm better than God. I'm jollier, and I give you real toys, not boring old psalms and empty promises you can only collect on when you die. Worship me, not Him! Worship Santa! I am God!"[15]
        Satan's desire is for man, created in the image of God, to "fall down and worship" him (Matthew 4:9). Worship Santa and Satan gets worship by proxy. Worship the invention and you indirectly worship the inventor. Worship includes the ideas of fear and awe, as well as surrender and allegiance.
        Santa is used as a tool to keep children in line. "If you're not good, Santa won't bring you anything for Christmas," parents threaten, and television and relatives reinforce. "If you don't listen to me," a mother cries, "Santa won't bring you any presents." Really all this says is that the parent doesn't know how to raise a child. No wonder children don't respect authority. God deliver us from weak kneed parents! "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen"  (1 John 5:21).

Telling the Truth

        How many children were shattered when one day they heard at school that Santa Claus was not real? The parents had convinced them that Santa Claus was real, and now the child finds out that their mother and father had lied to them. Yes, telling a child that something exists, when in fact you know that it does not, is lying. It is breaking the command not to "bear false witness" (Exodus 20:16). The Bible commands us, "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds" (Colossians 3:9). "But it's only a white lie, it's only in fun," you say. Well, God says that "all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire" (Revelation 21:8). So to tell your children that Santa Claus is real, is to lie. And to lie is to commit a sin worthy of hellfire.
        Throughout the year we punish our children for telling falsehoods. Then at Christmas time, you yourself tell your little children this Santa Claus lie. And now you want them to believe in another mystical character called God. How are they to trust you? You lied about Santa Claus, so why not about God? One young child, sadly disillusioned to learn that Santa was not real, turned to a playmate and said, "Yes, and I'm going to look into this Jesus business too!" Is it right to teach children myths and falsehoods? Telling a child that Santa exists can destroy that child's faith, and they can grow up and go to hell because of your lie. The stories about Santa Claus are nothing but "godless legends, which are not worth telling" (1 Timothy 4:7 TEV).
        The Bible warns about a time when people "will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). Could it be that the Santa Claus myth is one of the means Satan is using to create a predisposition to the belief in fables? Whatever is the case, the Bible is clear on the subject. "Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths" (1 Timothy 4:7 RSV). Paul instructs Timothy on what he should preach to his congregation, "Tell them not to spend their time on stories that are not true" (1 Timothy 1:4 NCV).
        Webster's Dictionary tells us that the word "Santa" means, "holy or saint."[16] In the story, "The Night Before Christmas," this "saint" is seen smoking a pipe. Next it tells us that this saint has a second sin, obesity. Oh, but what great reverence this sinner gets. Little children worship at his feet. Laugh not! You know that they worship this idol called Santa, or else you would not use his "holy" name to get your children to obey. You know very well that they would do anything for Santa. Don't deceive yourself, Santa is an idol in the hearts of your children and you are the idol maker!
        The Bible says that there are demons. These demons possibly number in the billions. And they have only one plan for you and your family. Demons come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). They are our spiritual enemies, and we should not let them deceive us. It is with these invisible foes that "we wrestle" (Ephesians 6:12). They want to deceive us, and they will use any means they can. Paul says that God does not want us "to fellowship with demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20). The word fellowship means "sharing together." According to Paul there is a demon behind every idol. And you realize that an idol is anything that takes the place of God in our hearts. Did you also realize that Santa is an idol to many children, and that demons are behind this?
        We can conclude that Santa is a god, and being a god, he is an idol. Therefore one can not believe in Santa Claus and be saved. Parents need to heed the word of God which warns, "whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6). Furthermore those who believe in Santa not only sin, but open themselves up to demonic influences.


1. Alison Jones, The Wordsworth Dictionary of Saints  (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1994), p. 180.
2. "Patron saint," Webster's New World Dictionary, Ed. David B. Guralnik (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1984).
3. Abolphe Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical  and Mystical Theology, Trans. Herman Branderis (Belgium: Society of St. John the Evangelist, 1930), p. 94.
4. "Christmas," The Encyclopedia of Religion, Ed. Vergilius Ferm (Secaucus, NJ: Poplar Books, 1984).
5. Jones, p. 180.
6. "Elf," Webster's New World.
7. Genesis 41:8, 24; Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7; Daniel 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27; 4:7, 9; 5:11; Acts 19:19; Galatians 5:20.
8. "Magic," Webster's New World.
9. Hole, p. 48.
10. "Cupid," Webster's New World.
11. "Doner," Webster's New World.
12. "Christmas," Encyclopedia International, Ed. Elizabeth M. Downie (Grolier Incorporated, 1963).
13. "Kris Kringle," Webster's New World.
14. "Old Nick," Webster's New World.
15. Santa Claus, "Ho! Ho! Ho! I Am God!" The Onion, 29 Nov. - 5  Dec., 1994, p. 7.
16. "Santa," Webster's New World.

Stephen Peele
188 Grace Lane
Liberty, SC 29657
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