10 Of The Most Memorable Movie Santas

Or: The Many Faces of Father Christmas. Ol’ St. Nick’s a famously busy man, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hop on a video chat to hear about your holiday wish list. Catch up with the man behind the holidays with a one-on-one Chat With Santa.

1. A Christmas Story

What’s Christmas without a little childhood trauma? We’ve all had our share of white-whiskered woes when it comes to the wide world of mall Santas, and poor Ralphie was no exception. Ho-ho-horrifying.

2. The Santa Clause

Some luckless Scrooge inheriting St. Nick’s duties is one of the oldest tropes of the holiday family film lexicon, but few flicks have filled the main man’s jolly red boots better than Tim Allen did in 1994’s The Santa Clause. Kris Kringle is only Kris Kringle because of contractual Christmas obligations. Who knew?

3. Miracle on 34th Street

True, it’s hard to measure up to the original Miracle, but this mid-90s remake found a pitch-perfect Father Christmas in Jurassic Park’s Lord Richard Attenborough. That’s not to say it wouldn’t have been improved with a few rampaging raptors, but that’s another argument altogether.

4. Elf

Sure, Will Ferrel’s would-be-toymaker stole the show in this contemporary Christmas classic, but it’d be a much shorter movie if he wasn’t accidentally snagged by Ed Asner’s Santa Claus as a wee tot.

5. Bad Santa

You probably don’t wanna see cinema’s naughtiest Santa bounding down your chimney, but even this hard-boozing anti-Claus has some of that ol’ holiday spirit tucked away under his five o’ clock stubble.

6. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

When you get right down to it, Santa has all the makings of a superhero. Crazy ill-explained superpowers, top-secret subarctic base, ludicrously loud costume… it all checks out. So it makes sense that one of his most heartwarming holiday films is an origin story — a claymation classic that captures just what makes Kris Kringle the holly jolly hero behind the holidays.

7. Scrooged

You better watch out, you better not cry, and you better not launch a full-frontal assault on the North Pole, lest ol’ Whitebeard spray a bucket of buckshot in your face. The gun-toting Santa from Scrooged’s film-within-a-film isn’t the merriest of merrymakers, but he is friends with Lee Majors, so that’s gotta count for something.

8. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Hey, even Santa Claus has to have a few stinkers in his filmography. Kris Kringle at his holliest and jolliest couldn’t save this cult-favorite tale of an intergalactic St. Nick-napping gone wrong.

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Father Christmas may have been sidelined for most of Tim Burton’s timeless holiday favorite, but creepy-crawly pumpkin king Jack Skellington made a fine substitute Santa. Er, you know, if you overlook the thousands in psychology bills that his single night as St. Nick must’ve wrought.

10. The Polar Express

Hollywood nice guy Tom Hanks already has a warming baritone like chestnuts a-roastin’ over an open fire, so it just makes sense to cast him as the red-hatted King of Christmas in this CGI adaptation of Christmas classic The Polar Express.

From the silver screen to the presents under the tree, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without St. Nick. Hop on a direct video chat with the jolly man himself and you could instantly win a $200 gift card, courtesy of Verizon FiOS. How’s that for holiday cheer?

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