Santa Claus


The Origin of Jolly Old Saint Nick 

Honestly, Santa Claus is a combination of two religious persons, which are St. Nickolas and Christkindlein. St. Nickolas was a Dutch gift bringer and Christkendlein is the name of the Christ child.

In the beginning St. Nickolas was portrayed as a tall man in a long robe in a Dutch rhyme about "Sancte Claus", in 1812 Washington Irving added other details about St. Nickolas where he was "riding over the tops of the trees, in that selfsame waggon wherein he brings his yearly presents to children." Then in 1821, another poem was published by William Gilley centered on "Santeclaus". He was no longer tall at all, was dressed in fur, and drove a sleigh that was lead by reindeer.

In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote one of the most popular poems concerning Santa Claus, this poem he read to his children and was not published until 1823. This unique poem is "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas", but we all know it by "‘Twas the night before Christmas”. This was the beginning of our beliefs of Santa Claus coming down the chimney and his sleigh being pulled by eight reindeer all with unique names.

In Europe, they derived their own gift bringer a combination of Christkindlein, which was a representation of the infant Jesus Christ and another Belsnickle, which were adults that would dress in fur and perform a scary play while the children slept and left gifts behind for the children. Over the years, confusion between the two merged and the result was Kriss Kringle.

Throughout time, Santa Claus has been used in many advertising schemes and has been written about in many publications. In 1863, Thomas Nast, a caricaturist for Harper’s Weekly created his own style of Santa and thus began the legend of Santa Claus and his elves making toys for the good little girls and boys.

In the 1930’s Coca Cola who desired to increase their sales of their soft drink decided to use Santa Claus in the advertisements. Haddon Sundblom created unique drawings of a large Santa Claus figure dressed in red and white and of course drinking Coca Cola.

Since Coca Cola and Haddon Sundblom started creating his image of Santa Claus, everyone else did the same. Santa Claus had been many different sizes from an elf size to man size, wearing all different colors of clothing. However, when Coca Cola’s Santa Claus was seen, all other Santa’s have now followed suit. Therefore, I guess it is safe to say, that the Santa Claus we all know and love today was the genius design of an advertising campaign.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus

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