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OK, I’ll admit when I’ve been had… So there I was reading from the Freshly Pressed list when I found this post on funny book covers. Hey, it was hysterical, what can I say? It was also disturbing because, well… I found myself seriously hoping some of the titles were jokes… Because if one in particular wasn’t, it was going to be the subject of a really foul-mouthed rant.

Yes, I’ve heard all the extreme fundamentalist stuff against Santa Claus (OMG, if you rearrange “Santa” it spells “Satan” – more on that later) and complaints about how true Christian families need to take the pagan rituals out of their holidays. I’ll give them credit – at least they recognize where many of their traditions come from. On the other hand, it’s also why I could actually believe that might have been a real book.

A quick search and I tabled the rant idea. Yep, it’s a joke. Whew! Big sigh of relief on my part. Seriously! I would prefer to believe that even the most extreme of the religious right are incapable of being quite that stupid. They are, right?

Anyway, back to Santa… Santa legends go way back, and almost all of them have a very human, and humanitarian, origin (often from a person who was later sainted, go figure). Thus proving that even the most pious aren’t safe from the evil one’s grasp.

Pick your Santa legend, there’s a Christian rebuttal for how he’s a tool of the devil, meant to lure children away from the straight and narrow. One that is especially fun to think about now likens Santa to the Norse god Thor – based on Mythologist Helene Adeline Guerber’s book “Myths of Northern Lands”… According to Ms. Guerber, the usual and common description of Santa, and that of Thor, includes:

    • An elderly man, jovial and friendly and of heavy build.
    • With a long white beard.
    • Drove a chariot drawn by two white goats, named called Cracker and Gnasher.
    • He was the Yule-god. (Yule is Christmas time).
    • He lived in the Northland (North Pole).
    • He was considered the cheerful and friendly god.
    • He was benevolent to humans.

May I suggest that this comparison (made over 100 years ago) may not be the best way to encourage Americans to associate Santa with Satan these days? Thanks to a couple of little movies, our image of Thor is not that of an old man with a long, white beard. However, now that you mention it… you could maybe get away with the comparison if it was Odin to Santa because we could all imagine Anthony Hopkins as the devil himself. Chris Hemsworth is just not believable as Old Scratch.