It’s shaping up to be a creepy Christmas this year, thanks to Home Depot’s new Skeleton Santa Claus animatronic. As someone who never really stops celebrating Halloween, I felt like Jack Skellington spotting his first snowflake when I came across this surprisingly festive skeleton. While decorations of the skull-and-bones variety are typically reserved for Halloween, this light-up Santa skeleton is proof that not every Christmas display has to be traditional.
Like a cross between Jack Skellington and Kris Kringle, the six-foot-tall skeleton animatronic resembles a townsperson straight out of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Complete with a moving jaw, turning head, light-up eyes, and five spooky sayings, the holiday ghoul – “Josh” Skellington, if you will – is not someone I hope to see crawling down my chimney anytime soon. In one particularly spooky video shared to TikTok, the soot-covered Santa Claus says, “A lack of festive spirit makes me very angry.”
In another clip, the skeleton reminds us just how haunting it is that Santa Claus sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake. “Leave some spooktacular presents under the tree this year for all the misbehaving children,” he says. “Just be sure to not open them ’til Christmas morning. I’ll be watching. Snakes for Jackie, spiders for Annie. Oh! It’s the most horrible time of the year.”
The skeleton animatronic never specifies what will happen if you open the gifts before Christmas morning, but a quick peek at the sack of “presents” on his back has me hesitant to find out. In place of Santa Claus’s typical joy-filled bag of gifts, Josh holds an assortment of twigs, an unspecified bone, a nutcracker with no soul, and carefully wrapped presents with no indication of what’s inside. Altogether, the skeleton’s appearance aligns more with Krampus, a holiday demon, than Santa Claus. Still, his chilling sense of humor and life-like movements have me tempted to invite the ghoul into my home, if only to ask him about his favorite holiday movies.
It may not be the holiday decoration some of us were expecting, but maybe it’s the one we deserve after a spooky season that seemed to fly by too fast.
Ahead, take a closer look at the haunting Skeleton Santa Claus from all angles, and shop your own to put on display this holiday season.