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One of the biggest Christmas questions that come up in the minds of ignorant three-year olds, beating such puzzlers as "How can reindeer fly?" and "Does Santa have coal mines?", is "Where did Santa come from?"

Rankin/Bass had several theories on it, and came out with several specials covering different theories. In our Christmas countdown, we'll take a look at two of these claymation essays, starting today with the least popular of the two...

The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause came to us in 1985, when Rankin/Bass thought that everyone had completely forgotten their little ditty titled "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" made fifteen years earlier. There is no connection between the two whatsoever. In fact, they couldn't be more different. Where as "Coming to Town" deals with wizards and penguins, "Life and Adventures" is all about imps and special guest appearances from the Tooth Fairy and Mr. Sandman.

We open on Santa's last ride. See, he's old. Really old. Like great-great-great grandpa old. There is a lot of talk going on, and it seems that Santa's gonna pass away real soon. That's gonna piss a lot of kids off, and Coco-Cola will need a new spokesperson. This won't stand. So, it's time to go all Council of Elrond and call everybody who cares to discuss the matter.

The meeting is held by the Great Ak, a big old wizard with antlers and no taste in clothing. What his job was is beyond me. He ain't God, that's all I know. But he, above all, feels that Santa should be given immortality. The council murmurs over this, and it's obvious that Ak's lousing the fight, so after failing with the various pie charts and heart-warming speeches, he pulls out his final guns: recapping Santa's life.

Santa as a baby. Santa with lion. It's a good lion, though. Santa gets picked up Necile, a spirit of the woodland glen, and Ak assignees her to change Santa's diapers until he's old enough to use bushes. She names him Clause and goes off the find a babysitter after five minutes on the job.

To help out with the new housework, Necile assignees Tingler, a really-screwed up imp with the world's most biggest nose! So, yeah, now Santa's got two parents to watch over him, and he gets bigger and stuff. That's how it works, right? Santa as a young kid shares an odd resemblance to Haley Joel Osment, but he doesn't see dead people. He sees fairies and sugar plums and stuff.

Now, Santa's a great kid, but he's got one little problem: unlike anyone else around him, he's growing up. So, Ak shows up and explains that He'll have to leave the forest to live with his own kind. His own sloppy, stinky, war-loving kind. Nope, can't stay in the peace and quite of the untouched silven glen, he's got to go to the dirty cities. No wonder he moved to the North Pole.

Time passes, and Santa gets hairier and chubbier. Kids love him, though. It's not long before he takes up the trade of toy-making, and kids love him even more. It's a material world, my friends, and I'm a material girl... er, guy. However, there is trouble around the corner, and that trouble is really ugly.

Dey called the Awgwas, and dey bad because dey ugly. They don't like happy things, and since Santa's toys make kids happy, they know what they got to do. If that wasn't bad enough, immortals can't see the Awgwas, so Santa can't even lay a few bunches back.

While it might have been easier just to slice open Santa's stomach and eat his intestines, but they ain't that evil. They simply just try to steal Santa's bag of gifts. Well, Ak ain't gonna have this, so he pulls out a small army to take care of the Awgwas once and for all. So, all's well, but while Ak's there, Santa pops the question.. no, not that question, you sicko! He asks Ak how he can carry his toys around the world. Ak introduces him to Donner and Comet and the crew.

He's got a sleigh, hurray!

In short, it all comes down to Ak's final defense: Santa's just a generally nice guy. Everybody murmurs again, and just like Congress, voted that Santa should indeed become immortal and live forever and stuff. Hurray, Christmas is saved... again!

Related Articles:
The 1st Clay of Christmas- Starring the California Raisons.
The 2nd Clay of Christmas- I like Coco the best.
The 3rd Clay of Christmas- Pinocchio celebrates Christmas with the Duke.
The 4th Clay of Christmas- Trains love Christmas, too!