Yes I agree with the OP. When I was 5ish I still believed in Santa and he was pretty synonymous with God, he did the same sorts of things to my childish mind, wanted me to be good, punished me if I was bad, could do magic stuff like squeeze down chimneys (that well known trick of God's!) and had a way of watching whether I was good or bad, he even had his non-human angel style helpers called Elves, heck they even both have big White beards ( though God clearly works out while Santa eats mince pies and is drink driving over Christmas ). I even remember puzzling over starving African kids and wondering why Santa treated them differently.
God(s) / magic beings / magic forces seem all to emanate from a core desire to be grandly rewarded for relatively small efforts (pot of gold for finding a rainbows end - eternal life for finding Jesus) , to inflict justice on a largely unjust world and to have an all powerful, never leaving best bud / father / mother / brother.
It's odd that we quickly let go of Santas but we continue to tie ourselves even closer to the equally plausible fish and loaf multiplier.