It's 1962. You can tell because the whole world has the carefree air that comes with not knowing what it's like to have a First Lady named Lady Bird yet. It's also Christmastime, which you can tell because some little brat is whining to his mom about what presents he wants, while "Here We Come A-Wassailing" plays on the supermarket PA system and some guy dressed as Santa rings a bell for the Salvation Army. Mom hands Kid a dollar to put in Santa's kettle, and Santa gives Kid a candy cane and tells him if he's good, he just might get that coonskin cap he's after. Mom and Kid leave because the store is closing, and when the lights shut off, Santa begins to close up shop.
Suddenly, he's approached by a man in the possession of the mellifluous voice of Ian McShane. You guys. Ian McShane is the best. Deadwood was the best. Kings was even the best, despite no one watching it. Ian tells Santa that the kid is going to be awfully upset if he doesn't get that cap. Santa Guy just kind of brushes it off, saying either the kid's parents get it for him and he's happy, or they don't and the kid blames himself for being bad. Ian thinks this is a bit of a racket Santa's got going. He gets all the praise for delivering presents, but if the kids don't get what they want, well, blame The List. Santa Guy lowers his beard and is like, "Look, Crazy, I just ring the bell two nights a week so I can get out of the house." But before he can go on at length about his harpy wife or whatever, Ian pulls out a gun and shoots him right between the eyes. And God bless you and send YOU a happy New Year, sir!
Still 1962. This time, it's the classic Americana scene where the little girl wanders downstairs in the middle of the night to find a man in a red suit with white fur trim fiddling with gift boxes under the Christmas tree. And be it a mommy-kissing Santa or an underhanded Grinchy Claus, there's a proud tradition of spying on Santa while he's not entirely on the up-and-up. This being American Horror Story, obviously we're about to get something much, much worse. And indeed, here's Ian McShane dressed up like Santa -- sans-beard, but still -- with a big ol' bloody stain down the front of his costume. He's playing with a train set, of course, and when the girl approaches him, he's exceedingly friendly. Too, friendly, of course, but this girl isn't so much a little girl as Innocence Personified, so she doesn't really get suspicious. She's sure full of questions, though: like why is he here six days before Christmas and why did he break in through the front window instead of using the chimney? He finally tells the girl, Susie, that the whole Santa thing really makes no sense if you think about it for longer than two seconds. "They call me crazy!" he says, which, yes, I can see why people would call him crazy. After he assures her that the blood on his costume is not his, he asks her to take him to Mom and Dad.