I have always thought it a bit strange the way in which Santa Clause is often refered to as St. Nick or Jolly Old St. Nick, because “Old Nick” is also one of the names which is frequently associated with the devil. Than as I began to think about it, I began to see several similarities between Santa and Satan. When you really being to think it over, it actually is quite interesting in many ways.
So is it pure coincidence? Or is it something else?
I will state the various ways in which I see a connection between what on the surface would seem to be two vastly different characters and you can decide for yourselves.
First and foremost the name itself cannot be ignored.
Santa Clause vs. Satan
The same exact letters used in both names, only arranged in a different way, in addition the word Clause is pronounced the same as Claws, thus giving it a possible double meaning.
In addition is the fact that both figures are traditionally associated with the color red. Just why does Santa go around in a read suit all the time?
As I began to think about it I also began to realize that in many ways Santa also does encourage and act out upon the so called Seven deadly sins:
Lust/Temptation: He is a tempter of children, and he appeals most specially to the materialistic and base natures within us. He seeks to lure children towards him with gifts of objects or treats of candy and sweets. Satan is a figure of many disguises and often comes in a form which is most charming, deceptive, and seemingly harmless, thus he appears to children as a grandpa like figure who can easily earn trust and wishes for children to indulge themselves.
Greed: This links to the above, Santa inspires children to want! want! want! Christmas is the favorite holiday of most children because of what they think they will get out of it, because of the idea of being showered in gifts. While it sounds nice to say it is better to give than to receive, and for the older and wiser this may be said with sincerity, but to many people and particularly to the young, well they snicker to themselves when they hear grown-ups say such things and they “know” that it is far better to get.
Envy: This also connects to the other two, in a situation in which you have gifts being given you will inevitably end up in situations of children thinking that so and so got more gifts than they did, or got better gifts, or got something they wanted or they will think more of the gifts they wanted but did not get instead of the things which they were given. Instead of simply being grateful for being given free gifts in the first place and just enjoying the occasion, it is just as likely that many will spend their time thinking about the things they didn’t get, or the things they don’t have.
Gluttony: Santa is one of the biggest gluttons around, (no pun intended) not only is he often seen as indeed being a very robust figure, well we all know that he loves to eat. One of the most beloved traditions is the leaving out of cookies and other treats for Santa. Just think, if every house in the world left out something for him to eat, and he vigorously consumes it all.
Sloth: In spite of the fact that Santa has a lot of time off it does not seem as if he looses any weight, in addition to the fact that the guy only works once a year and he has elves do much of the actual hard work for him ( slave labor perhaps or evil minions?) Elves are often also considered to be a type of imp, and imps are often perceived as being mischievous spirits or demons.
Wrath: While it is hard to imagine Santa, the jolly old fellow who goes around delivering presents to children as being very wrathful or mean-spirited, and yet almost all Santa traditions comes with a dark side, that is the threat of some negative repercussions against naughty children. While within the U.S and other places, it is commonly the thread of being left with a lump of coal, this is relatively tame compared to many other traditions which often involve the idea of naughty children acutally being taken away. Some may recall my article last year on the Krampus a demon who followed Santa around to drag naughty children away in chains and beat them and torment them. This may also being seen as akin to claiming the souls of those who had fallen to his temptations.
Pride/Vanity: This is the one sin of which does not appear to have any direct connections to the occasion and of which it is more difficult to make a case for. Though the holiday does breed a certain feeling of self-centeredness within people, both in leading them to be thinking only of themselves and the things they want others to give them. It can also be said that it breeds pride in those giving away of gifts for those who do seek out to buy bigger, better, more expensive items as a form of trying to show off and perhaps out do others.
When one really thinks about it there are some very hedonistic aspects to the way in which the Christmas holiday is celebrated.