FORBS' War of the Santas

St. Nicks across the country keep fighting for control of America's premier Santa organization

Acts makes a deacon named Nicholas into a saint, and Revelation condemns a group—the Nicholaitans—that Nicholas supposedly founded. St. Nicholas vs. the Book of Revelation—both canonized. Couldn't have Jesus hating the priests of the Roman church, so . . . rebranding time.

In the 8th century, they invented a hagiography about a fictional, gift-bearing 4th-century Bishop of Myra (a town a few miles down the coast from the Nicholaitan hotbed Ephesus) named "Nicholas," and they had him do many good things . . . as well as some bad. To lose the Nicholaitan baggage, they dropped this Bishop St. Nick into the First Council of Nicaea convened in 325 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Constantine I, who was putting the finishing touches on his Roman church. His Nicholaitan priesthood securely in place, he now needed his God.

The hagiographers have Nicholas becoming best buds with the emperor, and then assaulting Arius, the North African bishop who almost singlehandedly derailed Constantine's plans for his church by arguing that Jesus could not possibly be God the Father's co-equal because Jesus had been born and thus exists in time and so is not eternal (like You-Know-Who). For this, Arius got his bitch-slapping from Nicholas. The bishops took a vote and elected Jesus, born on Dec. 25, to a seat in heaven, with Constantine's new Roman church at his side. Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the Roman empire's official state religion, and just a year before the emperor's death, Western Christians celebrated the first Christmas on Dec. 25, 336 A.D.

Jolly ol' Saint Ric
Riley Kern
Jolly ol' Saint Ric
Real-bearded Santa Timothy Connaghan
Riley Kern
Real-bearded Santa Timothy Connaghan

Result: Roman church open for business. Nicholas, safely de-Nicholaitanized, plays with children as Santa Claus. Priest and pitchman glare at each other across the divide. . . . It's old, this Christmas War story.

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"what's with no seat belts on school buses, anyway?"

An excellent question I, myself, have asked before. I do, however, have an answer to that old question.

The school bus seats are designed and spaced in a matter to prevent serious injury to children. They are designed to contain them like cubicles because the children are not likely to all be seated and facing forward. "Ah! But wouldn't seatbelts make THAT more likely?" you may interject. For some, yes, they would sit facing forward and belted into their seats. But more than likely they would not, they are children surrounded by their friends and peers and are relatively unsupervised. The other issue is that there is no way to ensure that the kids do buckle-up and remain buckled for the duration of the trip. Death and injury attributed to accidents for children riding in a school bus are extremely rare and it would also be cost prohibitive to retrofit millions of busses with seatbelts that would have a negligable effect.


Jeff Germann will hopefully stay disappeared.  He joined an established group named American Leaders and wanted to portray Davey Crockett.  He concocted a very tacky Crockett costume made of a very shiny fawn vinyl material that made him look like a doorman to a sleazy frontier themed casino in Las Vegas.  Then after being told that the group was nonprofit and apolitical, proceeded into working his extreme rightwing philosophy into his presentations.  He had an appearence set up to do Davey for the local Council of Churches, then stood them up because he felt they were a liberal group. This caused some influential people in the community to have very negative views of the American leaders group and demand for the group evaporated.

Finally the last straw happened at an Event called Artfest in Springfield, Missouri.  It had been an event that the American leaders had been invited to for several years and reimbursed handsomely for.  Germann in a rather foolish attempt to be funny, pulled out a long knife and threatened to remove a temporary tatoo from a little 4 year old boy's face.  His mother was aghast and complained to an organizer and American Leaders lost that event as a paying appearence due to this very stupid act and also lost credibility with the public and have had very few requests for work due to this person's behavior.  He was kicked out of the group but unfortunately the damage was done.  Yes, let us hope that the man has truly disappeared.

whateveryousay topcommenter

Any time grown men want to dress up as fictional characters to get kids to sit on their laps gives me the creeps. 


Hey, great article btw. I remember hearing about it on TAL a while ago. This helped fill-in a lot of the blanks.

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