You're quite right Harvey, Falstaff is Santa-like. One could also add that Welles as Arkadin is dressed as Santa when Van Stratton finds he's been used as a stalking horse for Arkadin's murder plot. Also, in Leaming's book it says that Alexander Salkind, who had financed The Trial was going to also help finance Welles's King Lear in the early 80's, but those plans fell through when Superman III bombed at the box office in 1983. Welles suspected that Salkind would have wanted him to play Santa Claus as part of the bargain, anyway. Supposing Superman III hadn't bombed, should Welles have done it? It might have been painful to watch Welles try and do something with the role of Santa, but then we might have had more Welles movies.