THE SANTA CLAUSE: Take Up Your Cross | FCC 84

In The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin turns into Santa Claus by putting on the Santa suit, and that is a process similar to taking up one’s cross and following Jesus. In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema, we discuss these and other Christian themes and how you can use this movie to talk to your friends about Jesus.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:03:16 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:13:03 – Christian Themes in THE SANTA CLAUSE
  • 00:53:50 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:04:23 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:16:42 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:21:46 – Upcoming

Take Up Your Santa Suit and Follow Me

Scott Calvin doesn’t want to put on the Santa suit. Some strange intruder has just fallen from his roof and has left a red velvet Santa suit in his wake. Again, Scott does not want to put on that suit, but he ultimately decides to put it on because he loves his son Charlie. This is the beginning of selfish Scott’s transformation into the unselfish Santa Claus.

No one notices any changes in Scott at first, but people become suspicious when Scott’s physical appearance starts to change. His hair turns white, his belly pokes out over his pants, and his sweet tooth is about as big as a snow globe. Those are the outward changes that people notice immediately, but there are also inward changes that take place. Such inward changes include caring for the actual happiness of the children for whom he makes his toys instead of only caring for the money the company makes.

This image from THE SANTA CLAUSE shows Tim Allen as Scott Calvin sitting in the doctor's office.

But these changes are unfortunately seen as dangerous by Scott’s ex-wife Laura and her new husband Neil. They see these changes in Scott as damaging to Charlie’s development, and they appeal to the judge to revoke Scott’s visitation rights. The judge grants the request, and Scott loses the son who he loves so much and for whom he even put on the Santa suit in the first place.

And he could have his son back if he would only give up the whole Santa jive. Like Job, if he would just denounce the mission of Santa and take off the suit, he could have Charlie back. But Scott cannot relinquish his mission as Santa Claus because he’s already been transformed into the new creation at this point in the story. So even though he can no longer do so with his son, he continues the mission because he knows that it has to be done and that he is the one to do it. He sets his pride aside and continues on. He has gone from selfish Scott to unselfish Santa.

This image from THE SANTA CLAUSE shows Tim Allen and Eric Lloyd as Santa Claus and Charlie.

This is a near-perfect image of what the Christian life should be like. That new life starts when we put on Christ like a new set of clothes. Sure, we cannot and do not fill out these new clothes in the beginning, but we eventually grow into them. This growing process will most likely seem dangerous to some – so much so that we may lose the kinship of family and the camaraderie of friends – but we press on because we have been changed to no longer value the pretense of the old life over the rightness of the new life.

In the end, Scott is finally reunited to Charlie (as Laura’s gift to Scott is burning the custody papers). The same can be said for us when, once we have embraced the missional life and are maybe even still living out that missional life, that which we lose along the way will be returned and even more so. And while we could draw the allusion to Job, it more appropriately points to the theme of Resurrection, and that it good news.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people’s hearts.

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  • Philip Heard

    Great show guys, I’m really impressed at the job you did with this movie. A verse that came to mind from this episode is Ecclesiastes 3:11(NKJV) “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” This speaks about the deep down feeling we have that there is more to life than this life, and Laura and Neil display this kind of realization when they open their minds and hearts to things they had closed off in the past. Michael’s thoughts about belief and choosing to believe in a world view was really good stuff, I enjoyed that quite a bit.

    I was happy to hear Michael saw and liked The Secret of Kells, I enjoyed it, too. The animation was different and cool, with a good story. I’m hoping Song of the Sea will stream on Netflix soon.

    I haven’t seen Ex Machina yet, but hearing about it reminded me of Children of Men. If you haven’t seen that, you guys need to check it out. Filters don’t need to be as strong as for Ex Machina, and it has some interesting stuff to think about, as well as a great cast, and awesome direction by Alfonso Cuaron. Thanks for the show guys, looking forward to White Christmas, although the Houston area forecast for Christmas day is 80 degrees with 86% humidity! #muhweeladgimli

  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys! One more thing I forgot to mention in my first comment, regarding what Michael was saying about belief and choice last episode. I agree wholeheartedly with what he said, because there is a degree of faith and uncertainty no matter if we believe in the God of Christianity or that there is no God at all. I think it boils down to accountability. If we believe in the God of the Bible, then we acknowledge that there will be an eternal accounting one day for us. And our choices, words, and actions will have consequences for us all. This seems to be unacceptable to many people, who apparently wish to do as they please, according to their own way of seeing things, and avoid any accountability for those choices. I think that’s where you get a lot of wishy-washy spirituality from, and perhaps those who outright deny God’s existence are being more honest with themselves and others, than those who seem to want to have God, spirituality, and religion, but deny it’s power and God’s holiness. Just my two cents guys, Happy Christmas to you & yours!

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