Note: Contains spoilers regarding the actual fact of Santa Claus.
But when you stop and think about it, there is a glaring, huge, Buddy-sized plot hole right in the middle of everyone's favourite film. It's a problem that features prominently in a lot of Christmas movies, actually.
In the final moments of Elf, Buddy (Will Ferrell) finds a stranded Santa. His sleigh won't fly because of a lack of Christmas spirit (apparently the reindeers need help). Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) leads the onlookers in 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' to raise Christmas spirit.
Her plan works and Santa takes off, flying out of Central Park and over the heads of the crowd gathered in song. They stare up in amazement as he wings overhead as if to say: oh my, Santa is real!
Cue the issue.
They don't believe Santa exists. Yet since Santa is real, that means he delivers presents. So how many parents woke up on Christmas morning to discover piles of gifts that they never purchased under the tree?
Did they not stop and think, 'Wait a minute, did I buy this in a cinnamon-sugar-pretzel-rush and not remember it or... perhaps... Santa?'
Or is Santa's magic so powerful that it tricks parents into thinking they did, in fact, buy their child a BB gun or a pony? Or perhaps they're so blitzed out on eggnog they just don't notice or care. Either way, Christmas movies ask us to suspend a lot of disbelief.
And it's not just parents. There are also older siblings to consider.
There's nothing like a surly teenager to point out, well, anything – so surely they would be the first to remind a parent that the gift they refused to get would be under the tree anyway because of Santa.
This is a plot hole that exists in so many other movies in which Santa is real (which is a lot of them) and it is rarely explained why parents never realise there are freebie gifts for their children.
With Elf, at least, we forgive this.
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