The following is a drawing from a Christmas card I co-authored 16 years ago with a buddy, Mike Harty (Mike is the artist; I threw ideas and food at him). In case you can’t make out the words on the image below, here is a larger image to download.
The set-up, from the front cover of the card, is Santa explaining to some guy that there is no mistake–that he (He?) has checked his list even thrice. Then the card opens to this:
The notion of Santa deciding who goes to hell and heaven (deciding who is naughty and nice) is certainly an obvious extension from Santa’s better-known job–lots of skill transfer here. An obvious question is whether Santa and the judgmental God are coincidental similarities or whether they arise from a common Jungian archetype. Are we tapping into something inexorable this idea of a powerful entity rendering judgment over us?
There are also differences, of course. We don’t have ceremonies where we eat Santa. Also, Santa serves as his own flesh and blood intermediary; he comes down to visit each year–there is no need for him to impregnate a Virgin. There’s no denying the similarity that both God and Santa allegedly watch us closely (“he sees you when you’re sleeping”). The elves would appear to be Santa’s version of angels. Santa’s toys as grace???
This card, like many others Mike and I created for other Christmas seasons, certainly antagonized some recipients. This was probably the point of our endeavor, come to think of it.