Monday, December 23, 2013

Ho Ho History

by Carol




Papai Noel, Axta Baba, Pere Noel, Grandfather Frost, Padre Noel, Pai Natel,Noel Baba, Father Christmas - Santa Claus! How did this old man become loved the world over? His earliest mention was in England in 1477 - when a pastor invoked Sir Christmas - who encouraged adults to eat and drink to celebrate Christ's birth. The Puritans thought he had a little too much "good Cheer," and reformed him into a kindly old man "given to good cheer - but not in excess." English politicians made fun of that, but the political battle eventually played out  into a character associated with feasting, hospitality and generosity to the poor.

By 1931 in America, Santa had been depicted as a Norse huntsman, a tall, gaunt man in tights, a bishop and an elf. The the Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew the familiar looking Santa (although he was small and elf-like) for Harper's Weekly in 1862, and for the next 30 years, and his look gradually changed.


But it was actually our commercialism that spread his popularity. In the 1920's the Coca-Cola company began using him in their advertising in the popular print magazines.  In 1930 Fred Mizen painted him having a Coke at a soda fountain in a department store. Coke later hired Haddon Sondblom to paint Santa, and he used his elderly neighbor as a model, as well as  the description from The Night Before Christmas. In 1931 he began to be shown delivering toys and playing with children, although he often stopped to drink a coke as he read thank you letters. The Coke collection of historic paintings has been displayed all over the world - even in The Louvre!




But certainly, Santa personifies kindness, innocence, generosity, and our monthly theme - JOY!  Happy Holidays and now  - show us your Santa collection in our galleries on Flickr, Instagram, Focus on Phoneography and Facebook.

And to all my on-line Friends and Sisters - please accept my personal gratitude for being a part of this wonderful FOL experience. May you and your family spread the JOY in the world this Christmas and always.




                                                                             Hugs,
                                                                                 Carol







14 comments:

Dotti said...

Oh, what a fun post for two days before Christmas! I love your St. Nicks! I have a pretty good sized collection of St. Nicks and always love to unwrap them each year and greet them again, they're like old friends. But, yikes! Leave it to Coke to introduce us to the modern {mostly commercial} Santa Claus. That sort of taints it for me ... I like the old-timey legends better. Merry, Merry, MERRY Christmas to everybody here at FOL.

Snap said...

Yo Yo Yo, Merry Merry Merry and a Happy Ho Ho Ho!

kelly said...

what a great collection of santas! such a happy, merry post today. thank you for sharing.

Carol said...

Dotti - I so agree. The genesis of this post was that someone had given me the Santa globe with the coke, and a big logo around the bottom. I never warmed up to it because it seemed commercial - and now I realize why! So I will honor him for the history he represents, (but I still like the old timey ones too!) Merry ChristmasAll!

Carol said...

And by the way Dotti - Your Xmas card was the inspiration for pic # 3!

terriporter said...

I love all your Santas but I have to agree, I love the old ones best! I think it may have been all those cookies that children left for Santa that changed him from a small man to the one we know today! In an article in our paper this past weekend, a man told a story about finding out that there was no Santa Claus from some friends and when he went to his grandpa to confirm it, his grandpa said, "If you believe in your heart that Santa exists, he does." And as for me, I still believe!

heyjudephotography said...

I love the look of the "old" Santas, and I love hearing the story behind his transformation. A fun post today Carol. :)

CarolHart said...

What wonderful heirlooms these Santas will be for your children! Merry Christmas!

Jeanne said...

love you history here and your little figures are just wonderful. Hope that you have a truly blessed Christmas!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Thank you for sharing that it was so interesting!

Susan said...

Oh, I love your collection! Thanks for sharing and have a Blessed Christmas!

Katie said...

what a wonderful history lesson, and merry christmas to you, too!

Kim Stevens said...

Loved all the interesting history on "Santa!" I have had a love of Santa's for a long time, love the old ones best...but I do love collecting Mark Roberts Santa fairies, although I haven't been able to add to my collection for several years (they are pricey), but OH so cute! Love your Santa photos...have a most wonderful Christmas Carol! xo

susan said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Carol! Loved the Santa history! Beautiful images! xoxo

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