Dreaming Of A Red Christmas: 10 More Strange Santas From China

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in China, thanks to the country's many odd, offbeat and occasionally off-putting interpretations of Santa Claus. Though their origins can be found in traditional western depictions of Father Christmas, these sinicized Saint Nick knockoffs have strayed a lot further... into the nightmarish realm of the bizarre! 

10) The Seven Year ECCCHH

The forty-foot tall statue of Santa Claus standing outside a mall in Taiyuan, China is a jaw-dropping sight... for all the wrong reasons. The display seems to be a bizarre tribute to Marilyn Monroe's famous subway skirt-raising scene from the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. Odd as this looks, we can't shrug it off as a one hit wonder: a similarly cringe-worthy Santa statue was erected last year in Dongguan. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via GBTimes)  

9) Santa's Toy Sax

Every Christmas Eve, Santa Claus loads up his sleigh with big sacks of toys... that's SACKS, not SAX. Did a garbled translation prompt the plethora of saxaphone-playing Santas in China, or was Bill Clinton's 1992 musical guest appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show the main inspiration? If the latter, then at least it's nice to know the ex-pres inspired something other than off-color intern jokes. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via Washington Post/WorldViews)

8) Summer Claus

Is it odd that Hong Kong's own Santa Johnny won the title of “World Best Santa Claus” at the annual World Santa Claus Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, held on July 24th of 2013? Not as odd as holding a “World Best Santa Claus” competition in July. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via China.org.cn)

7) Hipster Christmas

Most kids stop believing in Santa Claus when they grow up but maybe we've made a big mistake: grown-ups who keep the faith get grown-up gifts from Father Christmas. Take the hipsters above, who got a case of PBR from the big guy. Naughty, nice, whatever: they believed in Santa Claus before it was cool to believe in Santa Claus. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via Michael Michelini 

6) Nerd Pole

Forget “Jolly St. Nick”, Santa Claus in China tends to be a little thinner and a lot nerdier than the jelly-bellied dude we westerners have come to know and love. Then again, we westerners have come to know and love our iPhones, iPads and other high-tech electronic devices... and just where do you think they're made? (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via Xinhuanet 

5) Silent Night, Howly Night

It's beginning to hound a lot like Christmas but give China credit: they don't have the Jingle Dogs yelping out seasonal carols... yet. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via China Tour Advisors)    

4) Subdued Santa

Tis the season to be jolly, amiright? Somehow these somber Santas didn't get the memo on making merry this year. Of course, riding a Chinese subway on Christmas Eve pales in comparison with piloting a flying sleigh pulled by eight-plus-one magical reindeer. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via 99.7 NOW/CBS Local)

3) Yule Got Served

While visions of sugar plums dance in our heads, Chinese coach commuters have to settle for steamed meat dumplings served up by Mrs. Claus and one of her helpers. Hmm, I wonder where the reindeer are... and by the way, what's in those dumplings? (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via China Tour Advisors)

2) Cold Saint Nick

Think Santa's put on a little weight? Not to worry, it'll melt right off after the holidays – you should be so lucky. This Santa Claus snow sculpture from Harbin's annual ice festival stretches 525 ft (160 m) wide and towers 79 ft (24 m) tall. Just imagine how enormous his sack must be! (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via World Record Academy)     

1) Finnish Finish

China's truly coolest Santa Claus comes from Finland... and by “comes”, we mean to Shanghai on a Finnair jet (frost class, natch) direct from Korvatunturi, his mountain home in Finnish Lapland. Judging from the wealth of weird Santas in China he should, like, come a lot more often. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image via World Expo Blog)

Maybe we should cut China's Santas some slack: no elves or reindeer in sight (check the menu for the latter) and a couple hundred million spoiled one-child-policy brats expecting to snag some Xmas swag come Christmas morning. It's enough to freak out the most merry of Santa Clauses and in their defense, there ain't no sanity clause. (strange Chinese Santa Claus image at top via Washington Post/WorldViews and above via CNN Travel)