Santa Claus

My name is Rashid Darden and I like nostalgia.

I’ve had a rough past couple of weeks. Depending on how you look at life, one could say it’s been a rough past couple of years. But this post is not about that. It’s about how a little nostalgia and a commercial flop of a movie made me have a better day.

I’ve been very tired. I didn’t make any special Christmas plans and I just wanted to just fast-forward to 2023 already.

A Facebook meme made me think about a film from the 80s called Santa Claus: The Movie. It was something about Mrs. Claus’s real name. Instinctually, I knew whatever they said was wrong. I said “Her name is Anya. Why don’t people know her name is Anya?”

Hell, why do I know her name is Anya?

I was very young when this came out, and to be honest, I don’t remember if I ever saw it in the theater. I don’t think I did. My mom did get me a picture book from the movie, though, so I thought I knew the plot. I at least knew the name of Mrs. Claus from this book. Once I saw it in print, I was destined to remember it.

When I saw the film was actually available on Blu-Ray on Amazon for a good price, I thought I’d buy it. It had John Lithgow, for goodness’ sake, so it has to be good. But after I bought it, I went down the Wikipedia rabbit hole and found out that Santa Claus was a huge flop, and possibly one of the worst Christmas movies ever made.


It came last week, and I watched it today, as the bad weather gave me some unexpected time away from the internet. Nothing left to do but watch a Christmas movie.

The beginning was what I thought I remembered: the origins of Santa Claus. Long story short, the movie wastes no time establishing Claus and Anya as a childless couple that gives gifts to children of the village. They get caught in a blizzard and then are rescued by elves who have been waiting for them based on an ancient prophecy. (Burgess Meredith is the Ancient Elf. I am not making this up.)

So after all this happens in the first 20 minutes and Santa has his initial ride, I’m like wow, what else could happen for the rest of this movie?

Well, the rest of the movie is why it flopped. LOL.

Did I enjoy it? YES! It was 80s cheesiness at its best. John Lithgow was an over-the-top villain. Dudley Moore was a sympathetic, but negligent elf. And two child actors playing Joe and Cornelia were really fun to watch. But something about the film going to “present day” just didn’t work as well for me. It reminded me of a poor-man’s Willy Wonka.

But watching the movie made me feel really good. It reminded me of the best parts of my childhood, where everything was science fiction with a bad ass power ballad as the soundtrack. It had a good message against capitalism (basically) and in favor of charity. I could see myself watching this movie every year for fun. I’ve heard they love it in England.

One day I’ll talk about what I’ve been going through, maybe. But for today, I’ll just be okay that Santa Claus took me away from today and back to the 80s for a few hours.

By the way, if you purchase anything at the links I share, Amazon will give me a few pennies toward the sale. No pressure.