Santa Claus is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas.
The idea behind Santa Claus was one of festive gift giving and merriment. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century Santa was popular around the world, including the Soviet Union. Following the Great War, the warm feeling between the powers began to cool. As this occurred, the idea of Santa Claus, a seemingly innocent invention based on a story of gift giving and good will towards men was altered. First imperceptibly, and later abandoning all pretext behind it.
In the United States Saint Nicholas was a foreigner and his image evolved throughout American history. At first he was a heavyset, kindly old man, a depiction originating from an edition of Harper's Weekly in 1863. Although his stories emphasized good behavior and kindness until the days of the early American Empire, this would not last. The militaristic Empire wanted to encourage the ideals of strength, solidarity and self-interest. After a statement reported in Time Magazine stated that Santa Claus was corrupting American youth with "pagan" ideals and creating generations of "weak pacifists", the government took hold of the idea and refashioned it to suit the new order’s mindset. Instead of rewarding children for being good, the new Santa would reward them for their patriotism. Children who did not support the war effort were called unpatriotic cowards and would be kidnapped to work in the many sweatshops in the North Pole. Santa Claus would appear in advertisements and children's stories around the country condemning such children to be ostracized. Parents were encouraged to take advantage of this new Santa and use it to extract obedience from their children. Following the Collapse, Santa was altered even more. The image of a fat and jolly man was replaced with the image of a fit, lean, and strong older man brandishing a sword (or a weapon of artist's choice) wearing white cloths stained with the blood of enemy (normally Conseil) soldiers. Santa no longer rewarding patriotic children with gifts, but was a recruiting tool. This incarnation did not last long and was merged with the figure of Uncle Sam, who was always more popular in American culture, while the St. Nicholas name went to Cannibal Nick. Uncle Sam encouraged them to join the military and do their part in the war for the American people, just as he always did, but propaganda depicted him slaughtering unpatriotic men, women and children to the cheers of all good Coalitionists.
Uncle Nicolas was the German evolution of the Santa Claus concept, but Uncle Nicholas would remain very much the same way as before the change. He adopted a far more patriotic stance, but Uncle Nicolas was still seen as loving and compassionate. This set the Germans apart from the Soviets and Americans, but as Germany began to decay the version of a saint like gift giver who travels across all of Germany to give toys to good German boys and girls began to lose popularity. After the Collapse, Uncle Nicolas has adopted many different forms, lacking the general unity that the American Santa and Comrade Kolya received from the Coalition and the Conseil. At times he is still seen as a kind gift giver, but normally he appears similar to the American Santa. In the Coalition Cannibal Nick, a monster that kidnaps and feeds on children after promising them gifts, is based off of Uncle Nicolas.
Comrade Kolya abandoned all religious significance early on. Instead Kolya was seen as a man who slayed wicked bourgeoisie and gave their wealth to the poor. He would often appear to be a "Robin Hood" of sorts, only a Robin Hood who killed the people he stole from in the name of Marxism. Through Kolya, children would often be taught from an early age that any sort of personal property was wrong. Gifts were personal property and Kolya would often be seen taking such luxuries from bourgeoisie families, especially those of the hated Americans. Kolya would often go into long diatribes in state produced material about how the plastic used in a toy car could easily be repurposed to building materials to help communism destroy the bourgeoisie menace. Following the Collapse Kolya would remain the same for the most part, only shifted far more towards war and spreading the Dialectic. Often times images of American decadence and bourgeoisie corruption would be mixed with Kolya either ripping them apart or seen destroying them. In the Conseil Systems, Kolya returned to his religious roots and became a sort of saint for international communism, one of the many avatars of the Eternal President of the State and Supreme Leader of the Workers and Peasants Marcel Dijon. Small icons with the saint’s image are often carried into battle. Interestingly, Koyla is more popular and propagandized in Batavia than in the Conseil Systems, but the Batavian version is much closer to the Soviet model. Kolya is often depicted in the field of battle leading massive Batavian armies.