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Is Santa a Stoner? A Theoretical Breakdown

santa clause cannabis
Written by Sarah Friedman

Does Santa go for ganja? Let’s be honest, there’s plenty of evidence to back up both sides. When we approach the question of ‘is Santa a stoner’, we must first examine different aspects of Santa life and culture, and then make an educated and informed decision as to his likely smoking habits. So let’s have at it guys, does Santa get down with the wacky weed, or is he way too mature for that stuff?

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Santa Clause

We all know him. We all love him. He might be a part of Christmas tradition, but the big jolly face of Santa Clause can be appreciated by most anyone. After all, who doesn’t like a happy guy with a big sack of presents? I mean, yeah, maybe we’re taught he isn’t so giving to the naughty among us, but isn’t naughty subjective to begin with??

The standard Santa of the modern world looks like an overweight guy in his 70’s or so, with bright white hair, a big ole beard, black boots, and white cuffs on what looks like a red velvet suit. He’s definitely rockin’ his own style.

According to modern tradition, Santa visits everyone’s house, bringing gifts to those who are good, and leaving lumps of coal for those who are not. He apparently keeps a list of naughty children vs good children, just to make sure he gets it right. He comes in through the chimney carrying a big bag of gifts, and leaves them under a Christmas tree, before snatching up whatever sweets are left for him, and continuing on his way. He rides a sleigh that flies in the air, and is pulled along by nine reindeer, who apparently have the power to fly as well. When not gift-giving, he resides with his wife, Mrs. Clause, in the North Pole.

Saint Nick

It all sounds kind of psychedelic, doesn’t it? Well, in some pre-Christian shamanic traditions of Northern Europe, use of ‘fly agaric’ (amanita muscaria) mushrooms was associated with Christmas time. This potent hallucinogenic was often linked with magic and fairies, and appears as a red and white fungus that grows under fir trees and evergreens. Harvesting and using these mushrooms is related to Santa Clause, and its quite possibly why the color scheme exists for Santa today.

The more modern Clause

In terms of how we see Santa today, the modern image goes back to a few different stories, one of which originated in 16th century England when Henry VIII ruled. At that time there was a Father Christmas tradition, and the Father Christmas character wore green or red robes, and exemplified the idea of the spirit of Christmas, representing good food, wine, revelry, and joy.

Though it was held on December 6th for Feast Day, when England dropped this tradition, Father Christmas celebrations were moved to December 25th, with this being one of the traditions that led to Santa today.

Another came from Dutch folklore, and is based around a character called Sinterklaas, which was based off Saint Nicholas. The holiday celebrates St Nick on the 6th of December, which is often when gifts are given, rather than the 25th. Sinterklaas is elderly and serious, with a long white beard and white hair. He wears a red cape over a white bishop’s suit, with red mitre and ruby ring. He rides a white horse and carries around a big book where its recorded if children are good or bad. Obviously there are similarities to today’s list-keeping Santa.

A last Santa mention goes to Woton, and Germanic traditions that pre-date Christianity. Before it became Christmas, the time period was called Yule, and celebrated the mid-winter solstice. This theory is that Santa came from the story of the Wild Hunt, which according to pagan tradition, took place during the 12 raw nights before Christmas. According to the story, Odin – here called Woton, galloped across the sky with army in tow, to fight the battle of light vs dark. This was a time of ghostly appearances and supernatural figures, including the Wild Hunt, in which Woton was said to sometimes pluck unsuspecting victims right off the ground.

Woton had a long white beard, and rode a gray horse that had eight feet – a possible lead-in to multiple reindeer. He wore a cloak and blue hood. Woton was warded off by the use of nine herbs, with one of them possibly being marijuana. And today’s Santa Clause may very well be an edited version of this Germanic legend.

So, is Santa a stoner?

stoner santa

The idea of Santa may very well be attached to cannabis through the use of herbs to ward off Woton and the Wild Hunt. And he’s also associated with psychedelics through the use of fly agaric mushrooms. But what about Santa today? Is the gift-giving guy we know and love a stoner like everyone else? Let’s investigate!

Likely a stoner

  • There are a few points that make Santa Clause likely a stoner. First and foremost is that age-old tradition of leaving out milk and cookies for the old man. Let’s be honest, he’s supposed to visit every single house. That’s a massive amount of milk and cookies. Who other than a stoner would require a snack break at literally every location, and the ability to keep pounding more food in? Kind of seems like in order to keep that monster appetite alive, Santa would have to be smoking large amounts of wacky weed.
  • He’s always flying, and I mean that literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, he’s always going up in the air. Could this be to avoid smoking laws in illegalized places? Is it to get some privacy for a quick spliff between houses? Santa seems to like being in the sky, and that could mean something. On the other figurative side, the guy is always happy. Like, maybe too happy. Or at least, very noticeably happy. The kind of happy where its hard to imagine that something isn’t being used to promote that happiness outside of standard means…
  • And then there’s the idea that the guy can’t seem to find front doors, opting for chimneys instead. Who other than a complete stoner is going to enter your house through your chimney? Thieves don’t even do that. You have to be so drunk, high, or off your rocker to resort to chimneys as a way to enter a house, that it says something for what Santa is on that this is his only mode of entrance into every house he goes to.

Likely not a stoner

Having said all this, there’s still a good chance that Santa’s jolliness comes from elsewhere, and the guy is more straight-laced than thought. Here are a few backing points to Santa not being a stoner.

  • He does a lot of work for small children. Regardless of whether you’re pro-cannabis or anti-cannabis, you’re generally not going to blow smoke in a kid’s face. And while Santa’s jaunts upwards could be an indication of some private toking, it could well be that Santa respects his place among the younger generations, and refrains from illegal behavior, or actions that could set a bad example for children.
  • He’s overweight! Though that almost seems more like a pro-weed argument, it’s actually not. Research has repeatedly shown that regular cannabis users generally have lower BMIs, are less likely to be obese, and show overall better metabolic health. Even more so than people who might consume less calories, but don’t smoke cannabis. While no complete explanation exists for this, researchers have suggested that its related to rapid and long-lasting downregulation of CB1R which leads to reduced energy storage and increased metabolic rates. If Santa is obese, it might be more about an overactive endocannabinoid system, and this would make him less likely to be a stoner.
Santa stoner
  • He’s got a huge amount of work to do. I know that when I get stoned, I’m not up for going all over the neighborhood, let alone all over the world. If Santa’s a pothead, maybe he’s a productive smoker who can get high and still fulfill all his responsibilities, and maybe he’s the type of stoner who waits till the end of the night to smoke up with the wife at home. But, maybe he abstains from cannabis completely, opting instead for a nice glass of merlot by the fire, or a few stiff shots of whiskey to warm the blood in icy surroundings. If Santa is a stoner, he’s about the most efficient stoner out there, although in all fairness, he only works one day a year!!


The beauty of Santa is that he can be whoever and whatever you want, and there’s nothing bad attached to him. Non-Christians aren’t usually Santa haters, and those outside the religion often like the general idea of Santa, even if he’s not believed in or celebrated.

As to the question of whether Santa is a stoner, well, I think so. I mean, if there really was a Santa, I think the guy would be lighting up in all of his between-house breaks, building up the appetite for all that milk and cookies. Besides, he’s got a wife back home who probably busts his balls a lot. Let the guy have his night out and get a little baked. At least he’s not actually enough of a nut-job to smoke in front of your kids!

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.