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I grudgingly agree that Santa Claus does provide one tangible good -- the soon to be bankrupt United States Postal Service likely sees a good profit in collecting stamp revenue for undelivered "letters to the North Pole".
The Christmas shopping season is of enormous importance to American retailers and, while most retailers intend to and actually do make profits during every quarter of the year, some retailers are so dependent on the Christmas shopping season that the quarter including Christmas produces all the year's profits and compensates for losses from other quarters.
The Lie Aspect
"Everyone knows that Santa keeps lists of good and bad children. If you are good you get a visit from Santa and he leaves toys. But in turn -of-the-century Europe, if you were bad you got a visit from KRAMPUS! Originating in Germany and the Teutonic countries, KRAMPUS acted as Santa's servant. As time passed KRAMPUS developed a rather malicious disposition and became almost an Anti-Santa.
While jolly St. Nick delivered gifts to the good, KRAMPUS gave coal and rocks to the naughty, beat the bad with switches, and if a child was especially naughty, he would shackle them in chains, stuff them in a bucket and throw them into the fiery pits of hell! (Source)
Still, this notion of a naughty list is a good thing. It helps prepare children for the realities of the world. As adults, we have real world naughty lists too. They're called "wanted lists" - and are things no parent ever wants to see their child's name end up on. Teaching kids that good is rewarded and bad is punished is not just good for the children. It is good for society as a whole. Santa and his naughty list benefit us all in the end. Right and wrong are necessary lessons.
Hefficide starts out with the positive aspects of Christmas, closing out with the charity and giving involved.
adjensen counters with the commercialization aspects, plain facts of who Santa really is, and gives what I thought where some amusing details on how much weight Santa gains every year.
Definite tie for round one.
Hefficide counters his opponents claims by dealing another solid round of charity and giving. He ties in the fact that consumerism is beneficial to the economy, a plus for his position. Also dealt out is that the fact that we all grow from children, to adults, and accept the myth, which in turn perpetuates the charity and giving.
adjensen leans heavily into a historical explanation of the holiday season, and adds in some rather disturbing advertisements, buts does little to refute his opponent's overall position of charity during the season.
Hefficide for round two.
Hefficide finishes off with a clever supposition that pre-dates even the early church, with a reference to the necessity of sharing and giving during the year's end, for a tribes very survival. He leads me to believe that the magic of christmas perhaps is something more deeply ingrained in us than just the modern interpretation of the rituals we follow.
adjensen counters with a plea towards "political correctness", and personal experience, then finishes with a brief discourse about morality. His "humbug" stance wasn't sufficient to dislodge all the pleasant thoughts his opponent presented.
Hefficide for round three, and the debate.
This debate was so funny to read. On the one side Hefficide glorifies Santa to the epic extreme, invoking the "Santa effect" and the spirit of Christmas overall. On the other side adjensen paints a dark picture of consumer exploitation,destruction of culture and mocking of religion. Its very difficult to define this debate in terms of "winner/loser" because both so deliciously put forward very true and compelling observations about Santa. But if I absolutely MUST pick a winner, I reluctantly choose Hefficide for a slightly more informative look at History and adjensens argument appears to be slightly over-hyped...that is, I get the feeling that he was exaggerating and sat behind his screen with a slight smirk while writing, not fully believing what he was saying.