ChristmaSFF: A Santa Story


When I was a kid, I loved the old Rankin and Bass holiday specials (I mean I gobbled up all their stuff, but).

They produced a number of Santa-related animations, many still beloved today.

The misers were great, memorable characters, but for my money the one that stood out was The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Looking at it now, I’ve got somewhat mixed feelings. It’s a fun story with a lot of cool fantasy characters and elements, but it really gets away from what Christmas is all about. As far as I can remember, none of the Rankin/Bass specials touched upon the religious elements of the Christian holidays they paid homage to, actually.

But as I said, it’s an enjoyable story, and as a kid it really seized my imagination. Not only does it feature Santa, but it’s good wood nymphs, awgwas, knooks, and all other manner of mythical, fantastical creatures.

What I didn’t pick up on is that it’s based on a children’s book by the same name, written by none other than L. Frank Baum. That would have been right up my alley as a kid; over the years my father scoured the local libraries to find all the Oz books to read me.

Luckily, the book is in the public domain and can be read for free online or as an ebook! And so for my ChristmaSFF read, I’ll be reading and sharing my thoughts on The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus! If you’re feeling festive and looking for a good old fantasy read, join me?


  1. Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town is the best Rankin/Bass Christmas special because it is the only one with the hilariously named Burgermeister Meisterburger.

  2. “As far as I can remember, none of the Rankin/Bass specials touched upon the religious elements of the Christian holidays they paid homage too, actually.”

    It been a looooong time but I remember Sister Roberta showing us the Rankin Bass “The Little Drummer Boy” and I remember it being explicitly religious (and I was frankly shocked that she would let us watch it).

    My favorite Rankin Bass is still The Hobbit and The Last Unicorn. The kids and I sing down down to goblin town frequently. My other favorite R&B song is the Put One Foot In Front of The Other song.

    • I’ll have to see if I can catch that one and watch it again! I barely remember it.

      And yeah those cartoons are awesome!

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