For a movie called “The Nightmare Before Christmas” the story spends very little time developing Christmas town and the jolly old elf in the red suit. Santa first appears as merely a shadow when he opened the door of his workshop in Christmastown after Jack discovers this wonderland. From then on, he is shrouded in mystery, appropriate for a Halloween themed Christmas movie, or depending on to whom one is discussing the film, a Christmas themed Halloween movie. The audience doesn’t even get to see him until over half way through the film.
The first mention of him is during Jack’s town meeting where he shares Christmastown with his friends. Realizing quickly that his audience isn’t paying any attention to what he’s saying, the skeleton admits that he may as well just give them what they want and spins his own tale of Santa. As he tells them,
“And the best I must confess, I have saved for the last, for the ruler of this Christmas land is a fearsome kind with a deep mighty voice least that’s what I’ve come to understand. And I’ve also heard it told, that’s he’s something to behold, like a lobster, huge and red, and sets out to slay with his rain gear on, carting bulging sacks with his big great arms that is, so I’ve heard it said. And on a dark, cold night under full moonlight, he flies into a fog, like a vulture in the sky…and they call him Sandy Claws.”