The Spirit of Christmas (1995)

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"The Spirit of Christmas"
Jesus vs Santa.png
Episode no. Season 0
Episode 2
First aired December 1, 1995 (Christmas card)
Writers Matt Stone
Trey Parker
Director Matt Stone
Trey Parker
This article is about the 1995 Christmas Card. For information on the eponymous short from 1992, see The Spirit of Christmas (1992).

The Spirit of Christmas is the second South Park short. It was written and animated by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It was a Christmas card made by them in December 1995.

The boys in this short differ from the boys in "Jesus vs. Frosty". Cartman, Stan and Kyle were entirely redesigned, while the Yellow-capped boy was replaced by Kyle. These characters would be eventually carried over to the South Park television series; this short is set in the show's new eponymous location.

Wendy makes a cameo in this short.

This short only received one reward: a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for best animation.

Synopsis[edit]

Jesus and Santa argue over who is the icon of Christmas.

Plot[edit]

The boys sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

The camera zooms down to South Park where four boys, named Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny, sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to the audience. This is an instance of a meta-reference.

Stan stops them all from singing because Kyle, who sang with them, is a Jew. Stan scolds him for that reason and explains to him that Jewish people do not celebrate Christmas. He claims that Jews sing Hanukkah songs. Kyle then sings "I Have a Little Dreidel".

Stan interrupts him again, thinking that the song is bad. Cartman agrees with Stan and then states that Hanukkah sucks. Kyle gets angry at Cartman for doing so. The two briefly argue until Jesus comes down to South Park.

The boys are amazed by Jesus's presence except for Kenny, who appears to be scared of him. This is indicated by him tightening up his coat when Jesus came down to Earth.

Cartman asks Jesus why he is in South Park. He claims to seek revenge. Stan thinks that Jesus is after Kyle being a Jew. Jesus denies, much to Kyle's relief.

Jesus tells the four of them that his birthday is tomorrow on Christmas Day (revealing that this short takes place on Christmas Eve). He says that he needs to find "The Mall". The boys lead him there.

Santa at his own booth.

At the Mall, they all find Santa under a "VISIT SANTA!" booth, greeting children (currently Wendy is on his lap). Jesus confronts Santa and remarks angrily that he ruined the meaning of Christmas. He calls him 'Kringle'. Santa claims to bring love to children worldwide. Jesus disagrees and tells him that Christmas is about commemorating his birth. Santa denies and claims that it is about giving. Jesus tells Santa that he will end to his 'blasphemy'. Santa then gets up, knocking Wendy off his lap, and they prepare to battle to decide who represents Christmas.

The two start battling by hitting each other a few times, and then Santa spins Jesus around and tosses him on the ground. Both Stan and Kyle cheer for Santa. Jesus angrily eyes both of them, and the two then cheer him on.

Jesus says, "Chung kwang do!" to create a yellow orb; he tosses it at Santa, who dodges it. The orb accidentally hits a stand, crushing three boys. All three of them bleed to death.

Santa then exclaims, "Yoktuki!" and tosses two blue triangles at Jesus, who tilts right. The triangles miss him. One of them accidentally hits Kenny, whose head decapitates and flies off. It then hits a statue, which falls over and crushes three other boys to death.

Kyle exclaims, "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" Kenny's headless body then tumbles over.

Santa and Jesus fight on the ground, and they both try to persuade Cartman, Stan and Kyle to help either one defeat their opponent. They try to persuade them by telling the good they did for the three.

The boys are unsure who to help, except for Cartman, who concludes that they should assist Santa. Kyle believes that it is because he gives him candy. Cartman then insults Jewish people and starts an argument. Jesus and Santa continue fighting while the boys simultaneously argue at each other.

Brian Boitano appears.

Stan breaks up the fighting and asks a question: "What would Brian Boitano do?" They pause for a few seconds, until Brian Boitano himself appears and figure skates toward them. He wonders if someone mentioned him. The boys are impressed by his presence.

Brian Boitano asks what is happening, but Stan instead asks him who he would help in a fight – Jesus or Santa. Brian tells him that he should disregard that question because of his explanation that Christmas is the one time of year where everybody tries to love one another, regardless of their beliefs.

Stan interrupts Santa and Jesus's fight by calling the latter. He tells Jesus that Santa keeps his birthday lively with joy and happiness, then Kyle tells Santa that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.

Santa and Jesus realize both boys' messages and cease to fight. Jesus tells Santa (he calls him 'Kringle') that he will get him an orange smoothie, and they head off.

The boys are relieved that the two stopped fighting. Just when Stan was about to state that he learned something today about people's religions, Cartman cuts him off and states that ham is the meaning of Christmas. Stan angrily calls him "fat fuck". He then changes his moral to Christmas's meaning being about something more significant: presents (just like the Stan-lookalike and the Yellow-capped boy state in "Jesus vs. Frosty").

Kyle tells him afterward that Jews receive presents for eight consecutive days. Both Stan and Cartman think that the idea is cool and therefore want to be Jews. The boys then sing "I Have a Little Dreidel" and leave. A swarm rats then come, chew on Kenny's headless carcass, and head off.

Production[edit]

Sometime in 1995, Fox Network executive Brian Graden paid Matt and Trey 1,000 U.S. dollars to create a Christmas card for him, so he could share it with his friends. The duo made "The Spirit of Christmas", or "Jesus vs. Santa". Their budget was 750 U.S. dollars.

Brian Graden distributed the Christmas card to eighty friends in December 1995. The real Brian Boitano also got a hold of the tape, and was flattered by his depiction.

"The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Santa" was constantly being bootlegged on video and the Internet, eventually becoming one of the Internet's first viral videos.

The short eventually caught the attention of the cable network Comedy Central. They hired Matt and Stone to develop the South Park television series.

Re-release[edit]

"The Spirit of Christmas"/"Jesus vs. Santa"'s first had an illegal re-release as a hidden .AVI file exclusively on the PlayStation version of Tiger Woods '99; it is only accessible from a PC. Electronic Arts was shortly after forced to withdraw this game from shelves because of the short's unauthorized release.

This short's first official release was on the 2-disc DVD set South Park The Hits: Volume 1.