Santa Claus is Coming . . . A Sex and the Christmas Special

Eric Spitznagel

Every holiday season, kids of all ages curl up in front of the TV to watch their favorite Christmas specials. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and other classic shows have become as much a Christmas tradition as presents, egg nog, and old fat guys. It is impossible to resist the magical fantasyland of the Christmas special, where bad claymation is still king, Fred Astiare is alive and well and wearing skin-tight leisure suits, and Christmas can be canceled because of a snowstorm or a nose cold.

But the adults who grew up with these shows don’t continue to watch them just out of nostalgia. We’re still drawn to these timeless tales of Christmas because they’re filled with characters who are, quite frankly, really sexy. You know it’s true. Let’s face it, Christmas needs a little sex to keep it interesting. With all the conservative hymns and tiresome anecdotes about the newborn kid with the glowing head, Christmas can be a really dull holiday. But add to the equation a few animated stories about a lust-filled reindeer, a Latin lover named Grinch and a grunge-rocking drummer boy, and Christmas suddenly becomes a whole lot more exciting.

With Christmas just around the corner, I decided to find out which of these beloved Christmas characters were actually the most arousing. After weeks of exhaustive research and study, viewing hundreds of Christmas specials and interviewing countless people of every age and sex, I discovered that there were ten names who stood out as the true leaders of Christmas eroticism. And so, in sweaty anticipation of another bawdy Christmas, I give to you…


10. Hermie the Elf and Clairese

It’s s a tie for tenth place, and not surprisingly, both of these characters can be found in the king of all Christmas specials, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” For the ladies, there’s Hermie, the elf dentist with the sassy haircut and lucrative medical career. His lust for independence made him dangerous, in a James Dean sort of way. But there was also something a little strange about him, something about his mannerisms and squeaky voice that made you wonder aloud, “Is this guy gay?” If you’re re a straight fella, you need look no farther than Clairese, Rudolph’s main squeeze and the hottest doe in Christmas Town. She had big, flirty eyes and eyelashes that could knock you on your ass. When she told Rudolph that he was cute, guys everywhere knew that what she really meant was “Take me now, you red-nosed devil!” After Rudolph saved Christmas and proved that he wasn’t just a freak, the lustful look in Clairese’s eyes made it clear that she wanted to find out what else Rudolph could do with that glow-in-the-dark honker.

9. The Grinch

The antihero from Dr. Seuss’ legendary “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is not the most obvious sexual icon of Christmas. He spends most of his screen time cursing in rhyme and abusing his dog. But there is one scene from the popular fable that contains enough sexual chemistry to justify his inclusion on this list. When he breaks into the first house in Who-ville, disguised as Santa Claus and determined to steal all of the presents, he is caught red-handed by the lovable Cindy Lou Who. Grinch has to turn on the charm to escape from this predicament, and the result is a sensual exchange that is just one discarded nightgown away from a porn video. The Grinch demonstrated that he can be a lady’s man when he puts his mind to it, and his seductive powers are enough to cause Cindy to make a bee-line for the bed. Sure, this scene was probably not intended to be such a turn-on, but suffice is to say that it wasn’t just the Grinch’s small heart that grew three sizes that day.

8. The Heatmiser

The beloved bad guy from “A Year Without a Santa Claus” generated enough sexual sparks to make any prepubescent girl swoon. The Heatmiser (also known as Mister Green Christmas, Mister Sun, Mister Heat Blister and, of course, Mister Hundred and One) delivered a sizzling Las Vegas-style song-and-dance number that made Tom Jones look like a birthday clown. It was an admirable attempt to bring a little heat to the holiday season, and I’m not just talking about the weather. “What ever I touch starts to melt in my clutch,” he sang. “I’m too much!” Forget for a moment that those words are coming from a piece of clay and you might find yourself overcome with the urge to throw your panties on the stage. His less convincing brother, the Coldmiser, may have won over most Christmas fans with his Pro-Snow agenda. But when the Heatmiser says that “Some like it hot, but I like it really hot,” you’d have to be a sexless leper to ignore him.

7. The Young Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Who knew that Santa Claus and his wife used to be so hunk-a-rific? In “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” we meet the young Clauses before they got fat and started hanging out with elves. With their fire-red hair, bluish-brown eyes and totally ripped bods, they send off so many sexual vibes that even the forest animals start pairing off and disappearing into the woods. And in the most blatant sexual scene of any Christmas special, Santa invites all of the kids in Sombertown to bounce on his lap while he sings a song called “Give A Little Love, Get A Little Love Back.” I don’t know if this means that Santa is really a filthy pedophile who gets off on lap dances from children, but it makes you wonder.

6. Karen, Frosty’s Beau

The blonde babe with the ear-muffs from “Frosty the Snowman” has become one of the most legendary ingenues in Christmas special history. At first she appears to be a perfectly normal schoolgirl. But after she meets Frosty, she develops an unnatural attraction to the mutant snowman… and the girl becomes a woman. There’s something about Frosty that brings out the slut in Karen. She won’t let the poor guy out of her sight, going so far as to follow him all the way to the North Pole. And she loves to hug. Frosty gets so many hugs from the underage Karen that it’s remarkable he wasn’t convicted for statutory rape. But despite all her public displays of affection, she still keeps a firm hold on her virginal innocence. She never gives Frosty what he’s obviously aching for, and insists that the snowman is just a friend. It’s a classic example of the Madonna/Whore complex, and Frosty, like any guy, is helpless to resist.

5. The Little Drummer Boy

“The Little Drummer Boy” has never been one of the more popular Christmas specials, probably because it’s based on a very dull bible story (with not a single mention of Santa Claus). But if you have the patience to sit through all the mind-numbing Christian rhetoric, you’re sure to be delighted by the dangerous sexuality of its hero, Aaron, the little drummer boy himself. Hard-core fans of the show argue that Aaron is the Keith Moon of Christmas, and they may have a point. Forget the religious symbolism and you’ve got all the ingredients for a true rock n’ roll fable. Aaron is a tortured artist who hates the public, inspires riots at his concerts, has a greedy agent, and plays lots of extended drum solos. True, the little drummer boy loses his edge at the end after he meets the baby Jesus. But before he sells out to the Man, Aaron proves himself to be a hard-rocking rebel who understands that Christmas and rock n’ roll go hand in hand.

4. Mary the Streaker

Perverts all over the world know that the best Christmas smut can be found in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Specifically, the scene in which Mary loses her bathrobe and gets locked out of her house au naturel. When George shows up, she flirts with him from behind a bush, ostensibly embarrassed about her naked state. This is unusual behavior for the little cock-tease, but as she keeps insisting to the understandably bewildered George, it was just an “accident.” Sure, Mary, whatever you say. George, full-blooded American man that he is, takes full advantage of the situation, and makes sure that she stays naked for as long as possible. Unfortunately, George never gets a clear view of the goodies, but he gets the message loud and clear. If a country boy is ever going to get laid, it’ll probably be on Christmas. No guardian angel necessary, thank you very much.

3. The Christmas Bunny

The vaudeville-singing Christmas Bunny from “Elmo Saves Christmas” is not only a surprising tribute to Christmas-time coitus, it’s also the first openly gay character on “Sesame Street” (if you don’t count Bert & Ernie). If the lisping voice and booty-shaking dance numbers aren’t enough to convince you, consider that the bunny is portrayed by none other than Harvey Fierstein, the actor best known for playing “The Gay Guy” on stage and screen. Fierstein brings a sexuality to the Christmas Bunny that surely has Jim Henson rolling in his grave, and probably inspired more than a few young boys to bat for the other team. Of course, a gay bunny really shouldn’t be so shocking in a city where naked muppets roam the streets. But that’s PBS for you.

2. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree

Although not an actual character per se, the deformed Christmas tree from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” deserves to be included on this list because of its obvious phallic symbolism. Ask any man and he’ll tell you it’s true: “Charlie Brown picked the small tree because he has a small penis.” We all know that it’s supposed to be a metaphor for the true meaning of Christmas, or something like that. But when Charlie Brown walks in with his tiny little tree and all the girls mock him, there isn’t a guy in the room who doesn’t know what’s really going on. In the end, the whole gang helps Charlie decorate his tree, and it doesn’t look half bad. So the real lesson to be learned from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is that size doesn’t always matter, as long as you take the time to camouflage it. Now that’s a Christmas message we can all feel good about.

1. Everybody in A Very Brady Christmas

We always knew that there was something sexy about the Brady family, but we never knew just how rampant their libidos really were until “A Very Brady Christmas.” The Brady kids can’t keep their pants on long enough to celebrate one day of pure family fun. In just one short hour, we witness Peter sexing up his boss on her desk, Greg teaching a nurse “mouth to mouth resuscitation,” Cindy’s slutty college roommate coming on to Mr. Brady, Jane groping her ex-husband in front of mom and Marsha groping her hubbie (the curiously named Wally) in front of the entire family. They can’t really be blamed for their behavior, given the sexual overdrive of their parents. Mrs. Brady wears a variety of dresses that are tight enough to reveal every inch of her body, and Mr. Brady sports a mustache that would be more appropriate on an Allman Brother. Maybe Newt Gingrich was right after all. Maybe TV really is a playground for sexual deviants. Or maybe, as Mr. Brady said in his Christmas dinner speech, “Honesty is the best policy.” Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: Even after all these years, Marsha Brady is still fucking hot.

Eric Spitznagel has written for a lot of magazines over the past 10 years. Here are some that you may have heard of: Playboy, Spy, Harper’s, Might, McSweeney’s, The Nose and He’s written four humor books, a few of which are still in print. He’s pretty sure that A Guy’s Guide To Dating (Doubleday Books) is still available at, and he’s seen The Junk Food Companion (Plume, 1999) in the occasional used bookstore. He used to live in Chicago, where he taught comedy writing at the Second City theater and performed with such sketch groups as Marlboro Country and Fancy Ketchup. He’s also written several plays which were produced by kind people with access to storefront theaters. His personal favorites were “All Bad Kids Go To Hell” and “Nothing Cute Gets Eaten,” if only because he thinks the titles were kinda clever. After leaving Chicago, he briefly lived in Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the woods of northern Michigan. He currently resides in Sonoma, California, with his wife, though he still isn’t entirely sure why. He’s more afraid of you than you are of him.
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