Is Santa Claus Magic?

I admit it. My brain’s finally broken down from being fed Christmas images 24 hours a day.

One of them triggered this weird thought. All those Christian sects in the U.S. who protest the Harry Potter books and movies on the grounds that they glorify magic and magic is evil and condemned in their interpretation of their Bible. Do they teach their children about Santa Claus? Isn’t Santa himself supposed to be magic? The flying sleigh, the neverending bags of toys, the ability to get his fatness down chimneys, his ability to repel soot?

So if Santa is magic, then do they have to reject him as well? And if he isn’t magic, then how do they explain his feats?

I think I’m going to go have some spiked eggnog. Without the eggnog part.

Believe me, those very same Christians who reject Harry Potter for its magic are equally opposed to Santa, on similar grounds. Some even take it so far as to detest Christmas trees and gift-giving.

I have no clue, but my guess would be that Santa is “good magic” or “miracles” (like Jesus), unlike “bad magic” or “sorcery” (like Harry Potter.) I assume the Wicked Witch of the West is OK because no child watching wants to emulate her and she’s only a dream. However, that’s my totally wild-arsed guess. I don’t expect logic or consistency from such sects, right up there with abortion is bad but death penalty is good.

In a discussion about Smurfs, a Jehovas Witness once told me that any magic except Gods is bad/evil magic.

He’s a saint, so he would be able to do miracles if God wills it. He’s a go between with God.

Well, there are Christian groups who decry the commercialized celebration of Christmas, including Santa Claus. They would prefer to keep Christmas as a relatively minor religious festival (minor in comparison to Easter, the BIG Christian holy day). In my Grinchier moments, contemplating the malls, the advertising, and the really cheesy music on the radio, I kinda sympathize.

No, everything Santa does can be fully explained by science. If you’re not smart enough to understand the science behind it, I suggest you get some physics books or perhaps have a long talk with Steven Hawking


Free things, like presents, can make a lot of things ok.

Growing up I did know of one family that didn’t celebrate “Christmas” because of its pagan roots but they did do the Santa thing and gave each other presents. Weird huh? Basically they didn’t call it “Christmas” and instead called it “Jesus’ Birthday” and since on birthdays you give gifts to people so they gave each other gifts. They also did not have a tree and would not decorate with any Christmasy stuff.

Most conservative evangelical Protestant churches – the ones that are typically outspoken against gays, in favor of school prayer, etc. – have no truck with Santa Claus whatsoever – for various less-than-accurate grounds, they consider him ‘pagan’.

The historic churches, Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic, consider that Santa is a popular myth built around the historical figure of St. Nicholas of Myra, with accretions from a variety of popular legends. Nobody ‘believes in’ him over the age of eight or so, except in the sense that he’s a fictional figure built on a historical character, much like the King Arthur of Idylls of the King or Camelot was built on a shadowy British warlord but has accrued enough legend to obscure thie historical origin almost completely.


Santa Claus is a Supervillain!
Top 10 reasons Santa is a Supervillain.

Merry Xmas, my Sniveling Minions!


Santa Claus’ observed behaviours are not “magic,” but are mathematically sound.

I have discovered a truly marvellous proof of this, which this message board is too narrow to contain.

ust for that, you are required to sit on a firm mat for the rest of Christmas! :stuck_out_tongue:

Answer: Yes indeed!
A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil’s Storehouse of Human Knowledge : Is there a Santa Claus? (December 26, 1997)

And almost everyone ignores poor St. Basil the Great! :frowning:

The town I grew up in was home to St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, although I’d award St. Gregory of Nazianzus honorable mention in the obscurity sweepstakes.

Aren’t miracles precisely what defines a Christian saint?

It’s not magic that is the problem for certain Christians with Harry Potter, it’s witchcraft, and the similarities they see it has with it’s practices. Witchcraft is forbidden by the Bible. They make all sorts of bizarre connections with the occult.

But you’ll rarely find Christians getting het up about magic itself.

Then can you give examples of magic that these Christians approve of?

Most fictional magic. The Lord of the Rings is widely accepted by Christians, and is even considered to have Biblical values in it. Gandalf isn’t seen as evil when he’s doing his thang.

The Chronicles of Narnia is probably the best example, since it was written by one. But there’s tons of novels, films, harmless beliefs (tooth fairies) that Christians have no problem with. It’s when they perceive them to resemble what they consider to be witchcraft too closely when it becomes an issue.

Christians will also happily watch a stage magician, though some are a bit funny about hypnotists, since it has links with ‘occult’ practices.

Walking on water, multiplying loaves and fishes, withering fig trees, that sort of thing.