Santa Claus is Coming to Town

The Origin Story Santa Claus

While there are many Christmas TV specials that had been produced over the years, one of the most beloved is, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Created in 1970, it is a lovely story that tells the origin story of one of the most liked figures in the World.

It also has fun explaining some of the traditions around the holiday and answers a lot of those burning questions that children often ask. Let’s go through some of them here.

The storyline and where the Christmas traditions originated

In the beginning, Santa is left by his mother with a note asking the authorities to look after her child. The Burgermeister flatly rejects this notion and on the way to the orphanage in a storm, the child is lost and the animals of the forest bring him to a nearby home for safety.

Why he is sometimes referred to as Kris Kringle

In the movie, the Kringle family takes him in as a baby and provides him with his namesake. As he gets older, it is revealed to him that when he was found at the doorstep, he had a piece of jewelry, a license, with the name of Claus on it. To avoid the authorities, he took the name Santa Claus.

Why Santa began bringing toys to children

As Kris gets older he learns that the Kringle’s once were the toy makers to the King. But over the years, the Winter Warlock had prevented them from bringing their toys to Sombrertown. Seeing this as a very sad state of affairs, he eventually decides he will bring these toys to the children of Sombrertown on the other side of the mountain.

The Toymaker Song (Lyrics) from Santa Claus is Coming to Town

It’s a difficult responsibility
When you accept an appointment from His Majesty
You must strive for just the perfect quality
When you’re the first toymaker to the King All the soldiers must stand erect
For the kingdom they protect
The balls must bounce much higher
If they’re to please his royal sire The ballerinas must pirouette
Upon their musical toes
And the clown’s must make a king forget
All his kingly woes [Chorus]
It’s a difficult responsibility
When you accept an appointment from His Majesty
You must strive for just the perfect quality
When you’re the first toymaker to the King All the sailboats must never sink
And the dollies always blink
The teddy bears be furry
If they’re to gain his royal curry The Jack in boxes must always pop
At every regal command
And kangaroos must learn to hop
Into the princes hand [Chorus]
It’s a difficult responsibility
When you accept an appointment from His Majesty
You must strive for just the perfect quality
When you’re the first toymaker to the King

Watch them sing the song

Where he got his red suit

Before heading out, Tanta provides him with an official suit worn by the elves, which becomes his regular attire for which he is known today, including a red and white coat, black boots and a big buckled belt.

Kris gets his red suit

Heading off with a sack full of toys, this excursion turns into quite the adventure where he meets a new friend, a lost penguin he names Topper. While en route, he must also pass over the Mountain of the Whispering Winds. He barely escapes this passage but does make his way into town.

What Kris does not know is that not too long before his visit, the leader of Sombrertown had an injury from tripping on a toy. In his overreaction, Burgermeister bans all the toys from the city. Unknowingly, Kris began breaking the law by giving toys to the children.

burgermeister injured from a toy

At this point is where he met the local school teacher, Jessica. She informs him of the ordinance, but he is undeterred and commits to continue bringing more toys to the kids.

santa bringing toys to children

Upon his return journey home, the Winter Warlock is able to capture Kris and his companion Topper. Kris pleads for only one request; that he can give to him the one toy he had saved just for him. This gesture is a beautiful reminder how the simple act of thoughtful giving can have a strong effect on people when it is given with a heartfelt intention.

This gift so warms him that he becomes overcome with emotion and they end up becoming friends. After this, he leaves his wicked ways behind.

winter warlock receives toy

He knows if you’ve been bad or good

winter warlock magic snowball

Winter, as he now likes to be called, shares with Kris the secret of how to make a magic snowball that allows you to see others in different places. This is where Santa learns how to determine who has been naughty and who has been nice.

Why he fills stockings

children getting toys in stockings

Since the authorities were determined to prevent children from having toys, each house was searched and Santa realized these toys could be hidden in the socks that were left to dry over the fireplace in each home. Ever since then, we have hung stocking in just this way.

The reason he goes down the chimney

kris kringle chimney

After this, it was decreed that all doors should be locked so that Kris would be unable to sneak in and leave toys. But Topper comes up with the idea of using the chimney to gain access and enter the buildings.

How his reindeer fly

Eventually however, Santa, Winter and even the elves were arrested. In her desire to set them free, Jessica asks the Warlock if he had any magic left that could help. She realizes that the last of his magic feed that can make reindeer fly would be a perfect way to help them escape.

The reason we decorate Christmas trees

winter warlock lighting christmas tree

Since they were still unable to go back to the town since being fugitives. Kris and Jessica had a private marriage ceremony where they exchanged gifts and were married in the presence of their loved ones as they stood before our Lord in the middle of a wooded area.

The trees were decorated and the Winter Warlock was able to muster a bit of magic to light the trees in celebration. And this is where the tradition originated.

The reason Santa lives at the North Pole

Santa North Pole

Still being pursued, the group moved as far away as they could. All of the way to the North Pole to build a workshop and live free from the authorities who were still wanting to arrest them. This is where he still continued to make toys and deliver them to children.

How Santa chose Christmas as the day

Kris Kringle receiving letters from children

Over time, the letters to Santa for toys become so overwhelming, he decided to schedule one day a year where he would deliver them all at once. He chose the birth of our Savior as the perfect way to celebrate.

List of characters

Kris Kringle - Santa Claus

Kris Kringle

This of course is Santa Claus as a younger man. Who knew Santa was a red head?

miss Jessica - Mrs. Claus


The teacher in the town and the love interest of Kris who would eventually become his wife, Mrs. Claus.

topper the penguin


A penguin that Kris befriends and shares his early adventures with.

Burgermeister Meisterburger

What a great name! The ruler of Sobertown, he is gruff and a harsh leader who banishes toys and is constantly trying to stop Santa from bringing joy to children.



Second in charge to Burgermeister, he was the first person to find Kris as a child and also leads the police in their search for him as an adult.

winter warlock

The Winter Warlock

This magical villain at the beginning of the show, has a transformation and becomes friends with Santa.

tanta kringle

Tanta Kringle

The Elf Queen and matriarch of the Kringle family. She makes the decision to take in Kris and raise him as their own.

the elves - dingle, ringle, wingle, jingle and tingle

The Elves

Wingle, Dinge, Ringle, Jingle & Tingle. These are the toymaker elves and Santa’s family growing up.

SD Kluger

S.D. Kluger

Narrated by Fred Astaire, he provided the storytelling for this wonderful TV Special. S.D. was an abbreviation for Special Delivery.