Manta Claus, and Other Lesser-Known Spirits of Christmas
If you know anything about Christmas lore, you've probably learned by now that countries and cultures around the world have their own version of Santa Claus—that jolly, fat, chimney-navigating fellow with a red coat and a knack for giving great gifts to complete strangers. And when it comes to embodying the secular spirit of Christmas... well, there's just no contest. Santa is AWESOME.
Thank goodness we wound up with the omnipresent chimney-diver. Had any of these three little-known auditioners won the role of Main Bringer of Christmas Cheer, the holiday just wouldn't be the same:
An early prototype of the holiday gift-giver, Manta Claus was a manta stingray... in a Christmas hat. Despite his ability to travel quickly from house to house via the sewer system, Manta had a terrible time toting the requisite sack of gifts due to his unfortunate lack of hands. Manta Claus was retired from service as a bringer of Christmas cheer after several children witnessed him emerging from the toilet and had to be institutionalized for post-traumatic stress disorder.
In an effort to combine gift-giving with the “awww” factor of a really cute baby, management introduced Infanta Claus: a nine-month-old in (you guessed it) a Christmas hat. Infanta Claus spent only two hours on the job before being pulled from duty for a diaper change. He was later arrested for indecent exposure.
After the higher-ups decided the holidays needed a “strong, silent type,” Planta Claus was auditioned for the position of gift-giver. Standing just over five feet tall, Planta was a robust potted palm tree in (surprise!) a Christmas hat. Despite having been given detailed instructions as to his route and schedule, Planta Claus was discovered after several hours standing in the corner of a room without having delivered a single gift. He refused to explain himself.
Have you ever had a run-in with a lesser-known spirit of Christmas? Tell us in the comments!