In keeping with the season (as Scrooge's servant and teacher in poverty was wont to put it), I always think about the origins of "Christmas" and the association of "Santa" with the Solstice celebration we have today. For it is the Solstice (Sol-stice, get it?) celebration that dates to our earliest manifestations on earth, 200,000 years ago. Right there we dare insult the believers, whose Priesthood says that man, dinosaurs, and dodos were all created in six days approximately 6,000 years ago. We cannot have it both ways, either Darwin or the anthologist of the O.T. is correct, there is no middle, and belief fails.
Imagine you are homo erectus and you do not have an evolved intelligence and, naturally, you know nothing of science. In the fall it starts to get cooler and by winter it is not only very cold, it is below freezing in some places. What to do? You are already dressed in the skins of game you have killed and partaken of their flesh, including what we now call pig. When you begin to note that the days grow shorter as they are colder and longer when they are warmer, you realize that the Sun is the source of all light and heat, and you fear it disappearing forever because you do not know whether the earth is flat or round, if you've even considered the matter. You start to believe that the Sun is a God, and in some cases that propitiation is not only possible but manditory. Remember, you are an animist.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship a solar-phallic God, though they define Him according to their sacred texts. The point is, the same antecedent deity -- Sol -- is implicated. The deities of the pagani were of Satan, which may explain why God conspiracists claim that Santa is but a rearrangement of letters, though the joke is on them, considering biblical Koine. It was easy for Constantine and the Priesthood to merge the Roman Legions' chief deity, Mithras (just another version of Sol Invictus), with the new messianic prophet, Jesus Christ. December 25, roughly corresponding to the Solstice, was the birthday of Mithras, so the early Christians assigned that date to their own death (fall-winter) and resurrection (spring-summer) deity. The worship of Sol Invictus continues only somewhat abated (by non-believers) to this day.
Santa Claus is nothing if not a substitute for Mithras. One thinks of the popular seasonal songs with lyrics such as these:
He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!
And it becomes easy to see Santa = God. It is indoctrination, pure and simple. If Santa can see you where you're sleeping, He is omniscient, and if He knows when you are awake, when you've been bad or good, &c., then He is omnicient at all times and all places. From birth you have been taught that only God is omniscient, and since He is the only God, you naturally assume that Santa and God are the same. The implication is, obey the parent as you would obey God, which in itself is not a bad thing. Brats that some of us were, our parents should have had Christmas once a month. Then there is this notification:
He doesn't care
If you're rich or poor
He loves you just the same
That we're God's children
That makes everything right
Fill your hearts
With Christmas cheer
'Cause Santa Claus
As you would expect, a country bumpkin made millionaire in film and recording named Gene Autry came up with, or sang as his own, Christmess songs that were more directly Christeranitarian. "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" are hardly the only offenders. But consider this same omniscient God. Here, "He doesn't care if you are rich or poor" seems to go without saying. If there were a God, we would not have the disparity between rich and poor in the United States. Being "God's children" doesn't put steak on the plate of an African, who probably cannot eat it anyway as he has AIDS. If being God's children "makes everything right," why is there universal wrong?