The Santa Trap is a made-for-TV movie that premiered on PAX TV on December 13, 2002.


Bill (Robert Hays) and Molly (Shelley Long) Emerson have moved their family from the northeast to the desert southwest. It was supposed to be a good career move for Bill but he is working lots of extra hours. Molly is having trouble getting her home business growing and laments on the change in climate. With Christmas near, both Bill and Molly are worried about money and missing out on a "white Christmas". On top of that, son Mike (Brandon De Paul) has been telling his younger sister, Judy (Sierra Abel), that Santa Claus does not exist. She won't hear of it and makes a "trap" (strings and contraptions) to catch Santa when he arrives at their house, which he does! Santa (Dick Van Patten) is a jolly old soul, but that does not prevent Bill from thinking he is a burglar and he has him arrested and thrown in jail. Judy pleads with her father explaining that millions of kids will go without presents. Santa is placed in jail with Max (Stacy Keach), a ne'er-do-well biker. Back at the Emerson house, Bill is awakened by strange noises and surprised to see live reindeer on the roof. Now a believer, he goes to the police station and frees Santa. But the bumbling police mistake Max for Santa and release him instead. Comic complications, and Christmas hangs in the balance. With children everywhere waiting for Santa to visit their homes, will Kris Kringle be able to deliver his goods?

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