So... Arctic Vixen Star Gamer, I know that yesterday I had stated that I "couldn't promise to do this proposal any time soon", due to all the work I had put in just to create Santa's page. But I figured, why procrastinate on the write-up when I could just get out of the way quickly? Also he's freaking awesome, and way to noteworthy to hold off on, so without further ado: Saint Nicholas from the Christmas Chronicles films
Who Is He?
I'm pretty sure that by now you know who Santa Claus is. He's the mascot of Christmas who goes around by sleigh delivering gifts to children all over the world with some help from his elf buddies who construct the toys. Although, Santa also has a Naughty List on which he'd place any misbehaved or bratty children and sometimes "reward" them with coal. So what makes this take on the character so special? Well, I'll get to that right now...
What Has He Done?
This version has an extended history lore serving as an origin story of how he became the famous mascot we all know and love.
Before The Film
In 312 AD, Saint Nicholas had once lived in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was a bishop who had discovered the joy of giving. He'd go around to various buildings placing goodies in stockings and coins in old shoes, becoming a local hero. Eventually his selfless deeds and actions quickly became well-known across the world eventually reaching a tribe of elves known as Forest Elves.
For centuries the elves were hunted down by humans for their magic powers and captured to the point where they were becoming endangered. Although, there was a prophecy about a man who would be king of the elves, who would one day lead them to safety -- that man being Saint Nicholas. The Forest Elf leader Hakan knew that Saint Nicholas was the only one who was capable of channeling the Star of Bethlehem's power. Is was at that point that Saint Nicholas had became known as Santa Claus. Santa would then led the elves on a mystical journey to an unknown land where Christmas would truly endure, said land being the North Pole.
Santa discovered an abandoned village in the North Pole and decided to turn the village into his new headquarters. For centuries, Santa and the elves would work along side each other to bring joy and happiness to the good people of the world, especially children.
At some unknown point in time, Santa would meet with a kind-hearted woman with magic powers similar to his and the two would get married as the woman moved into the North Pole alongside him and helped him create and deliver toys. She would single-handedly design over 300,000 shops in the village, which the elves would then build earning the alias, Mrs. Claus. In the center of the village was a giant tree that Santa would place the Star of Bethlehem on top of to power up the village. Santa would devise a way to connect the light from the star to the borealis, creating the veil. He's the only one who knows how to get in and out of the veil safely.
Unfortunately, team Santa wasn't always able to deliver their round of gifts in time, and they've have several flukes and missed deadlines over the ages. In these cases, the Dark Ages and the various wars of the world would end up forming as a result. (Remember, Santa's not purposefully trying to cause any damage.)
In addition to that, one year - Belsnickel, a vastly intelligent elf, who was taught the arts magic potion making and inventing by the Clauses, and grow to be loved by them - would begin to feel underappreciated by his co-bosses when he became a teenager, despite being extremely popular. As a result, he'd start to grow a rebellious side and break every law in the elf code. At first, the Clauses thought it was just a passing thing but Belsnickel just getting worse. Eventually as punishment he'd end up turning into a human -- which the elves despise after being hunted down by them -- and run away from the village despite the bosses pleas to come back so they could help him.
The Christmas Chronicles
Near Christmas in 2018, In Lowell, Massachusetts, widowed mother Claire Pierce is struggling to hold her family together after the death of her firefighter husband Doug. Her son Teddy has lost his Christmas spirit and has become a troublemaker, and engages in malicious activities such as stealing cars, though her younger daughter Kate is still trying to keep Christmas spirit alive while keeping a strong belief in Santa Claus. While watching old Christmas videos, Kate notices a strange arm appear out of the fireplace, believes it's Santa and convinces Teddy to help her by promising to destroy the tape of Teddy committing the felony. The two set up a makeshift trip wire and a hidden camera. Kate is later woken up and sees Santa in the living room. However, he escapes to the roof, and the Pierce siblings follow. Kate decides to hide in his sleigh to get a closer look, and Teddy reluctantly follows her. Santa rides off with the kids secretly in tow. When Kate decides to reveal her presence to Sana, he and the reindeer are startled and he loses control of the sleigh. After teleporting to Chicago, Illinois, the sleigh breaks down, causing the reindeer to scatter and Santa's hat and bag of presents to be lost.
Santa introduces himself to the Pierce siblings, and tells them that he has to get back to delivering presents as soon as possible or else the Christmas Spirit will be gone, and another war would occur. Santa claimed couldn't move quickly or through tight spaces like he normally does without his hat. (This later turns out to be false, and part of his convoluted plan to reunite the Pierce siblings) The Pierce kids are forced to help Santa after he threatens to put them on the naughty list permanently. They stop at a bar where Santa tries to seek help from the patrons. When they get no assistance, they steal a car, which itself was already stolen by the bartender. They locate the reindeer but encounter a police car driven by police officers Dave Poveda and Mikey Jameson. Kate goes after the reindeer by herself while Teddy and Santa lure the police away. Santa is arrested, while Kate and Teddy escape with the reindeer. The kids find Santa's bag, and Kate goes inside to find help. She falls into the bag and is teleported to the North Pole where she encounters Santa's elves, who agree to help her -- but not without them restraining her and trying to kill her first.
Meanwhile Teddy is attacked by a group of thugs who take him and the bag to their hideout, where he is saved by Kate and the elves, who then set out to repair Santa's sleigh. At the police precinct, Santa tries to explain his situation to Officer Poveda. When Santa reveals his wish this year is to reconcile with his ex-wife Lisa, who also shares that wish, Poveda is taken aback, but still refuses to believe him. Poveda has Santa locked in the holding cell, though he becomes suspicious when he sees a larger number of arrests than usual on Christmas Eve. Seeing that Christmas Spirit has gotten too low, Santa gathers all the inmates to perform "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", which works amongst all the officers except Poveda. He's is finally convinced when he receives a call from Lisa, who invites him out for coffee in the morning, and agrees to let Santa go. One of the elves arrives through the air vent to give Santa a spare hat. Santa goes outside to find his sleigh repaired.
Santa sees that he only has an hour until morning to complete delivering presents, so the kids agree to help him. Santa the Pierces are able to deliver all the presents, saving Christmas. Afterwards, he drops the kids off back at their home before their mother returns. Santa gives Teddy his hat as a memento, revealing that he did not really need it, and that he had planned the night's events to help the Pierces reconcile and Teddy to regain his believe in Santa. When he leaves, he gives Kate a "Ho, Ho, Ho", a saying he previously stated was an urban myth about him.
When Claire returns, they go inside to find that the living room has been decorated like their father used to do it. When the kids open their gifts from Santa on Christmas morning, Kate gets the skateboard she asked for, while Teddy gets a magic ornament. When Teddy hangs it on the tree, he sees his dad magically appear in his reflection, and they both express pride in each other.
Back in the North Pole, Santa reunites with Mrs. Claus who has come home and agrees to play Kate's tapes as the annual Christmas film, which he had secretly stolen from her when he left him.
The Christmas Chronicles 2
Two years later in 2020, Kate Pierce is now a cynical teenager who is unhappy spending a family Christmas in Cancún, Mexico with her mom, Teddy, her mom's new boyfriend Bob, and his son Jack. She wants to be back home where it's snowing and more like a real Christmas. Kate decides to run away and get an early flight back home to Boston. She catches a shuttle that Jack sneaks on to. They are unexpectedly transported to the North Pole by the driver Belsnickel.
Santa's fiercely chasing a yule cat and trying to capture it, but he abandons the yule cat when he hears Kate calling for his help saves her and Jack from freezing to death in the North Pole. He also brings them back to his house (with Belsnickel secretly following them) and Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus cures the two kids illnesses and conjures up some thick coat to protect them. The Clauses give the them a grand tour of their village and all it has to offer. The four of them go back to the house for dinner, as the two Clauses start to get deeply connected to Kate and Jack and view them as their own children. Jack and Kate go to bed as Belsnickel and his follower Speck begin an attempt to destroy the village. As a bedtime story Mrs. Claus tells the kids the origin story of Santa and his elves, as well as separate side story for Belsnickel -- one of his elves.
Belsnickel releases a yule cat, into the reindeer pen, injuring one of Santa's reindeer. Belsnickel releases a potion into the village that cause the elves to go insane and cause mass destruction. He steals the Star of Bethlehem on top of the village's Christmas tree. Santa and the others confront him. Santa attempts to take the star back but in the struggle between him and Belsnickel it accidentally gets destroyed, causing the power to go out in the village. The maddened elves start a snowball fight that gives Belsnickel time to escape. Santa and Kate leave for Turkey in order to get the forest elves led by Hakan to build a new star while Jack leaves to get a root to cure the crazed elves and Mrs. Claus stays behind to tend to Dasher. Kate and Santa find the elves and he has to prove to them that he's the real Santa Claus, which take a bit of convincing, though he's able to do so using some of his magic to freeze one of the elves. Convinced, the elves then build a casing for a new star and allow Santa to capture the power of the Star of Bethlehem inside it.
While flying back to the village, Belsnickel catches up to Santa and Kate on a sleigh pulled by his jackalotes (a hybrid of a jackal and a coyote) which he created, steals the star so he can stop himself from aging long enough to figure out how to replace Santa, and transports them back to 1990 Boston via a time-travel device he planted on Santa's sleigh. Kate attempts to buy AAA batteries for Belsnickel's time travel device, which she and Santa now possess, at the Boston airport to transport her and Santa back to the future. However, she is detained by an airport security member due to apparent counterfeit (the money was marked 2020). Kate is taken to a locked security room with kids who have lost their parents. When Kate becomes upset about her wrongdoings at Cancun, another kid, Doug, comforts Kate and helps her escape the room. After Kate joins Santa, she realizes Doug Pierce is her late father. With help from a worker named Grace, Santa gets everybody singing a Christmas song as the weather clears up. With Christmas spirit high enough for the sleigh to fly, Santa puts the batteries in and they transport back and recover the star.
Mrs. Claus makes the root into a powder. Jack fights his way to the snow cannons, places the powder inside, and shoots it onto the elves, curing them. Santa and Kate race back to the village evading Belsnickel as he chases them. Santa and Belsnickel try to collide their sleighs before they can collide in a game of chicken which Mrs. Claus has to break up and interfere with. The injured reindeer recovers and assists Santa in defeating the yule cat, with Santa hurling it out of the village. Kate places the star on top of the tree, restoring power to the village. Santa gives Belsnickel the first toy they built together, and Belsnickel reconciles with them, transforming back into an elf. Santa flies Kate and Jack back to Cancún where they inform an excited Teddy about their adventure and Kate becomes more accepting of Bob.
This take on Santa gives us a very interesting case personality wise. On one hand, come on, it's flipping Santa Claus, of course he's going to be a selfless considerate person which little to no corrupting factors (or being or whatever). But on the other hand, he's shown various times to a thrill-seeker and an adventurer much to his wife's annoyance (come on, it's Kurt Russell we're talking about.) but even with that aspect of his personality within him, he's still just as selfless and open-minded and compassionate as with most incarnations of the character. He'll gladly put his own interests aside if it means helping out others who need it more. Remember back in the early years when Saint Nick discovered the joy of giving and quickly became well known across the globe? Then there's the aspect of how he freed an elf species from being hunted to near-extinction, and lead them on a journey save them. That's pretty noble. What about the opening of the second film where he abandons chasing a yule cat to recuse Kate and Jack from freezing to death in the North Pole, or gave them a tour of the workshop and treated them like with absolute compassion viewing them like the children he never had, or forgave Belsnickel near the end and gave him a second chance, despite having full permission to banish him for nearly ruining Christmas? Again, action hero or not, he's still Santa Claus.
And would about his relationship with the elves? They've all shown to worship and respect him. They all follow him out of love and admiration rather than fear, as he's an excellent and benevolent boss to them who's taught them the art of inventing and is never shown to be planning favorites to anyone. Sure Belsnickel felt unappreciated, but keep in mind the man's super busy and has to help out hundreds of other elves. He's clearly not trying to neglect him intentionally.
Also one thing to note about Santa here is that the film wastes no time in poking fun of the stereotype of the usual Santa. This Santa is surprisingly very thin, and he doesn't like doing the "Ho-ho-ho" line.
Now some may say that nearly placing Kate and Teddy on the Naughty List indefinitely was a bit overkill. But this can be forgiven for two reasons: A) Kate and Teddy had (unintentionally) interfered with his gift delivery process and made him fall hours behind, which would've led to another world disaster, and B) he actually planned the mishap as he was trying to get Kate and Teddy to put aside their differences and Teddy to have a change of heart. Plus forgives them for saving Christmas and undoes the punishment.
Santa's been delivering gifts for over 1,700 years, and it was stated that the Dark Ages and wars of the world were caused by him failing to make his rounds. For him, the people need Christmas spirit to remind themselves of how good they could be. So by delivering presents every year, he's not just bringing joy to everyone, he's saving the world with near-annihilation from some war. In other words, he's basically a superhero.
Based on everything I had stated earlier, I'd say Santa passes the admirable standard easily. Saving the elves from extinction? Check. Treating his elves with respect and loyalty? Check. Years of devoted present giving with no issue with it? Check. Saving the world from chaos? Big Check! The only real competition he has is his wife Mrs. Claus who's just as pure and noble in her own special way, and definitely Pure Good material.
Well, here goes nothing. I see no reason why Santa shouldn't qualify but maybe somebody who's seen the film may say otherwise.