Fundy Christmas Day 1: Playing Where’s Santa?

It’s is widely accepted dogma in fundamentalism that Santa is an evil creature invented to subvert the hearts of men from the true meaning of Christmas: a time to celebrate Christ’s birth by giving the pastor a new suit and his yearly bonus.

Such is the hatred for all things related to Mr. Claus that every bit of Christmas decorating, cards, postage stamps, and gift-giving must be scrutinized for traces of that scurrilous saint. These traces may include depictions of reindeer, the North Pole, cookies, milk, beards, chimneys, sleighs, and Will Ferrell. Even songs with references to children listening for sleigh bells in the snow may be accused of venerating the jolly old elf.

Wrapping paper must be scrutinized. Decorations must be carefully examined. Christmas cards received from relatives or friends bearing traces of Santa must be hidden away or disposed of all together. No whiff or trace of the man in the red suit shall be allowed to sully this most holy of seasons.

Now hurry up and write the pastor his check.

154 thoughts on “Fundy Christmas Day 1: Playing Where’s Santa?”

    1. I love the fundies who use this as some kind of secret code they’ve found, that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the EVIL of Santa.

    2. Wouldn’t the same logic mean that all Spanish Bibles
      “Santa Biblia”
      ….were satanic too?


      1. If you’re going with Spanish, Santa has to be a woman. Santa is the feminine form and San or Santo is the masculine form.
        San Juan, San Jose, and San Nicolas are male saints.
        Santa Maria, Santa Ana, and Santa Clara are female saints.
        So Santa Claus would have to be a woman, too.

        I guess the beard is due to some kind of hormonal imbalance.

        1. So, while Santa isn’t delivering presents on Christmas, is he actually that bearded lady from the circus freak show?

        2. Well I think they have the off season covered with Santa’s Escort Service… “Ho, Ho, Ho” is one of the most recognized Trade Marks in the industry. Plus, he get’s all that free advertising for his off season enterprise this time of year with “Santa Baby.” Yep, diversification is the key to surviving in a Global Economy. 😯
          That’s the real reason why the Fundies don’t like him. And now you know…the rest of the story…Good-day!

      1. That just proves their point! If Santa’s other name is “Christ Child”, he’s pretending to be Jesus so he’s the Anti-Christ! πŸ˜‰

  1. I began my teaching career at a fundie school. The first Christmas, someone gave me a tie with Santa on it that played “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. It was painfully gawdy. So of course I wore it. Principal pulled me aside later and explained to me the error of my ways. Apparently I was implicitly condoning (evangelizing) Santa.

    I also once quoted a verse from the NASB in class. But that’s a story for another day…

    1. I love how you quoted from the NASB Once. and you refer to this as “the time”

      so typical

      Back to Santa and the tie. Its unfortunate that you would recieve a gift from someone who dabbles in the occult of Santan/Santa. Its obvious your fellowship with the heathen who gave you that tie later caused you to quote from the NASB.

      Don’t forget evil communication corrupts good manners.

      You should have burned the tie at the barrell burning the teenagers were going to have later that summer after they returned from summer camp and repented. Santa ties and CD’s by Amy Grant and Michael W Smith belong together in the fire.

  2. Bonus points if you compare your quest to Israelites ridding their homes of “leaven” during Passover.

  3. Darrell, this sounds like my childhood! Residually, I have never taken my kids to have their pictures taken with Santa, not that I think it’s wrong; it’s just sort of subliminally ingrained I think.

    I was just singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” to my 3 year old (who LOVED it and giggled with delight when I sang, “You better WATCH OUT!!”), but I still felt faintly guilty.

        1. My inlaws church (after the pastor’s wife’s puppy died) Said that all animals go to heavean because God gave them life but not the capacity for sin. I started laughing–every roach, rat, fly, flea and mosquito that ever graced the planet will be there.
          I can just imagine meeting a chicken on the Golden Streets–“Remember me? August 3, 1982–Four piece meal with extra biscuit, KFC?”

        2. @Faron

          …your KFC comment was HILARIOUS—glad I wasn’t drinking anything or I would’ve had to do a spit take!

      1. Santa will rue the day I take my tribe into Pestmart for photos. With 3 cats and 2 dogs, it’ll be one to send Santa back from whence he came!

        1. I have 2 dogs, but my Shih Tzu is currently wearing a pink sweatshirt that says, “High Maintenance”.

          That says it all.

  4. Santa was never a big issue with my family growing up (being the oldest in a family of 6 kids, you learn the fact of life pretty early, in everything). Our church didn’t make a big deal of it either, of course this was in the ’70s before fundies started getting really extreme in their teaching. We were simply taught that Santa was a fictional character and the important gift was God sending his Son to us. I was an adult and in another fundy church when the whole Santa=Satan thing came up and I found that pretty idiotic. πŸ™„

    1. Our little church didn’t preach it; my parents came up with the whole “Santa is a distraction and probably evil” thing all on their own. I always felt weird seeing other kids in line to see Santa or driving by houses with Christmas trees in the window knowing WE were so separated from the world that WE’D never lower ourselves to a tree or Santa. It was sort of lonely.

  5. Santa Clause, Father Christmas…etc, there are times fundies are painfully close to becoming “Practical” JWs. Preachers don’t want Santa mentioned because they’re afraid of kids idolizing the character, yet, they would have no problem whatsoever having their own mug on the front page of the Sword with a sermon their proud of.

  6. Am I a fundie for thinking of clever ways I can avoid the whole ‘Santa’ myth when I have kids?

    Also, are we venturing too close the the Catholic heretics is we have a picture of Mary holding the infant Christ on our cards?

    1. Well, I’m offended, and don’t think I can fellowship with you anymore, Ian. πŸ˜‰

      And, don’t even think about singing, “Mary Did You Know” this year.

        1. Thanks for the induction of the coughing spell, now I have a headache.

          I’ll just buy my booze elsewhere.

    2. Ha! I bet there are fundies who think “virgin born” means just appeared without a mother involved either!

      1. I do know a fundy pastor who believes that Jesus’ birth involved no blood or umbilical cord.

        I forget the reasoning (if any) for this.

        1. BWAHAHAHA! Thank you very much for that! I’m sure you don’t know, but I’d love to hear how they explain Mary going for purification.

        2. Yeah, it has something to do with Mary’s blood being passed to Jesus and thus making him have sin or something like that.

          And, if a kid asks what a virgin is, we can’t tell him.

        3. It kind of goes along w/ the over spiritualizing and dehumanizing of Christ fundies love to do. One wonders who they even consider Him of the line of David and the tribe of Judah?

        4. Yep, heard that one myself.
          The Ucord only has the Child’s blood but according to this Fundie I heard Jesus never shed one drop of his blood until the cross… of course I don’t think he fully understood what happend at a scourging. And if he was a carpenter and was fully human and didn’t cut himself or bring blood in the shop somehow or other… well then he just didn’t do much carpentering at all.
          And according to this guy we had to change the verse in the hymnal from blood that was “spilt” to “shed.” And every drop of that precious blood is in the heavenly holy of holies, constantly being applied to cover our sins… which is why we have to keep short accounts, and keep prayed up. I guess it’s a cosmic paint by numbers thingy to keep all our sin covered.
          Go figure…

        5. Bob Jones Jr. used to go on rants about how all the blood of Jesus is preserved in a great vat in heaven. Just about as scriptural as the rest of these theories.

  7. I was in one fundy church right after Thanksgiving, several years ago. I am not making this up, it is absolutely true.Two characters (Dressed in winter flannels) stood up and “sang” as a special the following:
    Up on the housetop reindeer paws
    Out jumps wicked Satan Claus
    Decieving little Christians with lots of toys
    (Forgot the next 2 lines)
    Ho Ho Ho Who wouldn’t go
    Ho Ho Ho Who wouldn’t go
    Up on the housetop trip, slip, flip
    Down to hell goes old saint nick

    1. {Jawdrop} You have got to be kidding me! Who wrote that charming bit of bsery, the pastor or the youth leader? (I’m sure whoever it was thought it was quite witty.)

      1. It seems to me somebody’s got some explaining to do about why they know that song (the original, pro-Santa version, I mean) so well.

    2. The fundie college traveling singing groups are always looking for some good Christian music. Why have you witheld this song for so long? Call Westcoast or Hyles-Anderson Today!

      So much good could come from this. Perhaps by singing this song in a fundie high school chapel a young soul could be convinced to go to a good christian college and be warned of the evils of Satan, I mean Santa, at the same time.

    1. “Well, this is to put Prince of Darkness on notice: We are on to you Satan! And we unmask you and heartily rebuke you! Get thee hence from our Christ’s birthday party!”

      OH. MY. WORD.

      1. You have a program that blocks tasteless material from your computer?
        Where can I get one for my own personal use?
        Let’s see … I’ll need one for my computer, my radio, my TV (if I get one), my magazine subscriptions … bilboards I see along the streets and roads …

      1. I wonder how many fundies stumble upon the Landover Baptist site and think “they’ve got some good ideas”.

        1. I did… as a fundy, I couldn’t quite tell whether it was real or not. Also, “”. When that first went up, I thought it was real. So dumb.. it’s completely different now, and more obviously a parody, but when it first went online, the author was very subtle.

        2. yikes.. I just checked it out again. He has gone from total subtlety to total obviousness and it’s just crude and lewd now. His satire used to be quite amusing. It’s just a bunch of rude jokes now… lame.

  8. I still say that Zechariah 2:6 (KJV) supports the idea of Santa:

    “Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD”


    1. Darn, you beat me to it. I learned that verse my freshman year at a fundy college by the President himself.

    2. I’ve heard that exact verse used while preaching AGAINST Santa.

      Is it any coincidence that right now “Hey Santa!” is playing on my iPhone? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. I used to do that, too… ha ha. Took FOREVER.

      I love getting a card from my parents and the verse is in NIV. Makes me smile.

      We all used to be big fundies.

      1. I have recd christmas cards from my old fundie pastor’s wife with the NIV verse blacked out and the KJV added. That is where it differed from the KJV, maybe a word or two.

        1. @Greg – Okay, that’s funny. I wonder how many of them they sent out. That’s a lot of “correcting”.

    2. I worked for a fundy organization mentioned on this site. I was chosen to buy Christmas cards for big doners. I briefly smiled as I dropped them off at the post office.

      They were not kjv. πŸ˜€

      I have to admit that I wonder if it was wrong but then I remember I had them approved. The powers were too busy to check them before approval.

      Once again a smile πŸ˜€

  9. I was chuckling at this post because just a few days ago, I was going through my stash of Christmas gift bags trying to find ones without Santa or “Happy Holidays” on them for my family (I can use the Santa bags, etc for my in-laws). It’s just those little things that you instinctively still remember to do years later …

  10. We had a visiting evangelist years ago in my old Fundy church who used to work for the USPS. He is perhaps one of the biggest Grinch preachers, and he regaled us all with the story of how he would take children’s letters to Santa and stamp “DECEASED-RETURN TO SENDER” on them.

    1. OMG! I’m seconding Natalie, that is just plain nasty. Even the grinch wouldn’t stoop quite that low.

      1. Said evangelist also told the story from his “prideful years”, the 1980s, in which he was driving to his church and saw a man dressed as Santa Claus attempting to enter a Methodist church. He pulled over, got out, and tried to keep the man out of the church and persuade him of the evil of deceiving kids….turned out Santa Claus was really the minister of the Methodist church! πŸ˜€ Evil, wicked Bible-changing UMC!!! Bad, bad bad…

    2. Masking cruelty and cold-heartedness in the guise of holiness – it’s so insidiously evil.

  11. I’ve attended a large (3000 people) fundy church in the Bay Area my entire life, and I’ve never heard of Santa Claus being condemned. And the camp my church is in is with West Coast, Crown College, and others. We have our own college, a rival of West Coast’s (or used to since we no longer have a basketball team), as well. I guess my church isn’t as fundy as I thought…

    1. Fundamentalism isn’t monolithic. The quirks are part of its … charm? I think it’s more about the totalist attitudes and history of separatism than exactly which standards were the ‘hills to die on,’ so to speak. Because obviously those differ from church to church if:

      Speaking of which, does the phrase ‘hill to die on’ strike anyone as really tasteless in that context? Yet frequently heard in churches? πŸ™‚

    2. My fundy church was OK with Santa Claus and even the Easter Bunny. I think the veneer of normality made it much harder to see the crazy bad stuff inside.

      1. Same here! Because you can always point to ‘those (other) fundamentalists’ who are more conservative and do things that we would never be stupid enough to do! Here we know better!

        Looking back, no, it wasn’t all that different, on the things that really mattered. Just harder to figure out, like you said.

  12. How long could this cult continue to exist if reasonable people simply put their collective feet down and said, “Enough is enough”?

  13. In my HAC-influenced fundy world, we were an exception. We had Santa Claus at the church for picture-taking, we had a haunted house that rivaled anything else locally, and we had the Easter Bunny hopping down the aisle in the middle of church. πŸ™„

    All of that was at church and Dad went along with it because “Preacher” was the “Man of God”. In my fundy home, none of that was allowed.

      1. Comes from Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, other games that use points to determine how hard you have to be hit to be damaged.

      2. It’s also a double reference to the demonic Santa = Satan thing, because in most fundamental churches, Dungeons & Dragons is considered demonic.

  14. I do remember in 2nd grade being taught that Santa is Satan spelled differently. In our home, no stockings were allowed because that pointed to Santa.

    One time a man in our church asked me what Santa brought me for Christmas. I replied, “Nothing”. He almost started to cry and said, “You didn’t get anything for Christmas?!?!?” Mom was standing there and said, “Wayne, she got a haul, but Santa didn’t bring it.” 😎

  15. Absolutely no Santa for us growing up. For the first three years or so, we could just avoid the whole thing with our kids . . . they just weren’t aware. We don’t make a big deal out of him but we don’t say he’s not real, either. We don’t want to have the kids who are spoiling it for everyone else.

    Now my sister told her 3-yr-old “Santa doesn’t bring presents, we buy your presents.” I was horrified; partly because she was so blunt about it but mostly because she repeats a lot of what my parents did without considering there might be another way.

  16. I found it interesting that at BJU they were really into all the secular Christmas carols, & Santa hats, and they even celebrated Halloween. They had a spooky stories program on their radio station Halloween night, and from what I understand, the faculty kids trick or treated at the faculty houses.

    1. Yes, it’s true. Trick or treating at Bob Jones University. I was a faculty kid and one year knocked on Mrs. Jones Sr.’s door with a group of other girls. We were invited in for a lovely chat with her on Halloween night. Trick or treating was still in effect when I brought my own children back for Halloween for many years. But that all changed after a chapel speaker (wish I knew his name) came to talk about the evil origins of Halloween. Afterwards DBIII got up and announced that all Halloween celebrations of any kind were strictly forbidden. It was never clear if that was orchestrated in order to cancel Halloween or if DBIII was truly convicted. My parents were completely mystified about it all. I can’t remember when that happened. I’m thinking some of my younger children never got to trick or treat on BJ campus. My youngest is 12.

      1. that’s too bad. like they never heard anything negative about Halloween before that one guy, hmmm. i prefer to ignore all the origin business and just let the kids have fun.

  17. There was a weird KJV only church where I did an extension in Greenville. They did a horrible puppet show for kids. I went because it was Sunday morning and it got me out of the chapel church.

    Once one of the leaders and his kid got on the Santa topic, and when I mentioned I was a Santa believer as a kid, they started outright mocking me… it was really strange for me. And not very nice.

    I have no idea what the church was called, but the ministry was called the Y.E.O. and a man named Mr. Blaha ran it. Did any of you ever participate in the Y.E.O.?

      1. Was Ricky a Blaha? They had like 6 or 7 kids. Mr. Blaha was super KJV only. He probably would’ve freaked over BJU’s acceptance of the devil’s Bible versions.

        1. Yeah, Ricky was a Blaha. I think he is actually pretty non-fundy now. I saw pictures of him playing a trapset for Grace Bible Church in Moore. Not sure what the church there would be considered.

  18. I just ran across a message on the radio last night. The pastor’s whole sermon could be summed up like this.

    – You (Christian) tell your children about Santa.
    – Santa is not real.
    – Therefore, you are lying to your children.
    – No liars will be in heaven.
    – You’re going to Hell.

    1. And don’t forget that in lying to our kids about Santa, they will NEVER believe us about God!! πŸ™„

    2. -Jesus told a story about a prodigal son.
      -The prodigal son was not real.
      -Jesus was lying to the disciples.

    3. We went with Santa is not real, but let the children around you believe what they want to believe, there is nothing wrong with Santa.
      We just wanted our children to trust us.
      If someone else tells them that Santa is not real, and we tell them that Santa is real, what will they think when we tell them that God is real and someone else says God isn’t real.

  19. My husband plays Santa. In fact he played him so much that our youngest son was convinced that the Santas on the Christmas cards were pictures of his dad.
    But my kids always knew that Santa was ‘pretend’.

  20. My parents never brought up the Santa thing and neither did I – I just kind of assumed he was just like those people who dress up in costume at Chuck E. Cheese (who terrified me, but that’s another case entirely). They did keep me going on with the Tooth Fairy though. But otherwise I like Santa a lot. The Santa Clause is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

    I also love Santa Christ, but that’s someone else altogether.

    1. My parents did the whole Santa thing, and never told me he wasn’t real. I figured it out myself and thought I was so clever for it.

  21. Darrell, did you riff on a Christmas song for this title? I just heard a song called “Dónde EstÑ Santa Claus?” and suddenly I’m just not so sure…

  22. I tell the kids the truth: “Santa,” AKA Saint Nicholas, is real, but he’s in Heaven. We’re all Santa’s helpers, and a “gift from Santa” is an anonymous present. I tell the legends about Nicholas the Wonderworker. I also try to keep the dreck about the fat jolly old product salesman out of the house.

    1. That’s a really sweet thought: I’ll keep that in mind when I have kids of my own. πŸ™‚

  23. I have some in-laws that play Santa for their kids. Last year, some horrible child at their church had their oldest in tears because he told him there was no Santa. The mother was very upset, because to her the ability to believe in Santa was a sign of innocence. So, to appease her, last year when we celebrated Christmas with them, my husband and I put out a big pillowcase with a big gold tie, kind of stashed behind the tree where the kids would find it. Of course, they were like “Look what Santa left!” They’ll figure out the ruse eventually, but life (and people like that kid at church) will take away their innocence soon enough. Maybe they’ll appreciate the effort their parents and family gave to help them keep their childhood a little longer.

  24. I like the story of the two little boys discussing their Sunday school lesson.
    Billy: Do you believe in the devil?
    Johnny: I think he is kind of like Santa Claus, he is just my dad.

  25. There’s a new missionary family here in the UK heading to Lincoln. They stopped in at our base chapel on Sunday and had a bad day. The chaplain knows there is IFB in my history so he asked me if I’d go introduce myself and make them welcome. So I did, then I excused myself to go to the stage to strap on my guitar and play for praise and worship. I could tell by the eleven sour faces that they were having a bad day. I was fairly certain that their day did not improve when the chaplain, in his glorious burnt orange polo shirt, delivered a fine sermon with his text read from the NIV. But it was at the end of the service that they no doubt were ready to shake the dust from their feet and beat a hasty retreat — the chaplain announced plans for next Sunday after church to load up a bus with families to go to the local Santa’s Grotto. 😯

  26. Evidently, my parents taught my older brother (their firstborn) that santa was the “impostor”…so when he was 3 or 4 yrs old he went into a store and saw a Santa sitting there and started pointing and yelling “it’s the impostor!” My parents love to tell this story and laugh at how hilarious they thought it was. Strange thing is, they didn’t teach that to the rest of us kids when we were that young LOL…Surprisingly we were allowed to hang stockings. I now take their one and only grandchild/dog to get his picture with Santa each year…much to my father’s consternation.

  27. “You sir are obviously a nonconformist and a rebel!”
    – Burgermeister Mister Burger to Kris Kringle.

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