The stop-motion Santa in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" has received criticism due to the fact that he looks like a pig. The animators responded to this comment about their interpretation of Santa Claus, saying "[They] definitely wanted to keep an element of strangeness, almost scary aspects in the story." Mark Caballero explained that the idea of making Santa Claus look tired and strange came when they saw a drawing of him by Marc Ceccarelli or Luke Brookshier. Caballero said, "We thought that was a great idea. So we came up with our own little back story where Bikini Bottom is the last stop for Santa. He's tired, he wants to get home, take his shoes off... We honed in on the old descriptions of Santa being a jolly old elf. We pictured him as humanoid, but not necessarily directly human."