An excerpt for the someday maybe to finally get published my The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA:
I think Santa Claus is an ancient custom adopted by Christians mainly because it was embedded in the culture. Maybe it was embedded to make it easier to manage children’s behavior. Somewhere in the distant past it was probably sub-consciously recognized as a way to make sure children would someday believe in someone they can’t see who knows everything they do and rewards the good and punishes the bad. As adults it is an easy transition to a god that does the same thing. About three hundred years after the birth of Jesus, it was clever of the Pope to piggyback Jesus’ birthday on Santa Claus and ancient religions’ celebrations of sacred season changes.