- Directors: John Pasquin
- Producers: Robert Newmyer, Brian Reilly, Jeffrey Silver
- Writers: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick
- Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
- Actors: Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold, David Krumholtz, Peter Boyle
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a divorced father with an insolent son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd). On Christmas Eve, when Charlie is spending the night, they are awakened by a noise on the roof. Going outside to investigate, Scott can see someone on the roof. He yells at the trespasser, which causes the man to fall to the ground. The incapacitated trespasser appears to be Santa Claus. He magically disappears, but his suit remains. They find a business card in a pocket stating that if something should happen to him, someone should put on the suit, climb into the sleigh and the reindeer will take it from there. They find a sleigh and eight reindeer perched atop the house. Scott puts on the Santa suit to please his son, and begins delivering toys from rooftop to rooftop.
Their final stop is the North Pole. The head elf, Bernard (David Krumholtz), shows him an inscription on the card which says that, upon the death of the previous occupant, whoever wears the suit assumes the identity of Santa Claus and all the responsibilities that go with it. This is the “Santa Clause,” as stated by Bernard: “You put on the suit, you’re the big guy.” He also gives Charlie a snow globe.
Charlie helps Scott and the elves perfect a new sled and communication devices. He calls occasionally, but this only reinforces Laura and Neil’s belief that he is being held against his will. Eventually, Scott, as Santa Claus, goes on with his Christmas Eve trip, but is arrested while delivering presents to his son’s home, and is accused of kidnapping Charlie. A team of rescue-elves, the ELFS, free Scott from jail, and fly Scott and Charlie home to his mother and stepfather, to whom Scott/Santa gives the presents they always wanted since childhood but never got: Laura gets a vintage Mystery Date game and Neil gets an Oscar Mayer “Wienie Whistle”. (It was because of Neil’s not getting the Wienie Whistle that he became convinced Santa didn’t exist.) Laura, realizing finally that Scott really is the new Santa, tosses the custody papers into the fireplace and welcomes Scott to come see Charlie any time he wants. Bernard tells Charlie that the snow globe is magic. Anytime he wants his father to visit, all he has to do is shake it. After ten minutes, he shakes it and Scott comes back, says he was off to Cleveland, and takes Charlie with him.