Santa Claus the Real Picture
Pictures of Santa Claus portray a rotund guy dressed for the warm climes of the North Pole. He has a huge sack of gifts that he hands over to kids nodding, winking and laughing his way into their hearts.
The First Santa Claus
The first pictures of Santa Claus appear in Washington Irving’s ‘History of New York’. In his 1809 book, the saint arrives on horseback every year on the eve of St. Nicholas. In 1823, Saint Nick became fully Americanized. In his poem, ‘The Night Before Christmas’, Clement Moore, gave Santa eight little reindeer and a miniature sleigh. The credit for pictures of Santa Claus with a sack of gifts dashing in and out of the chimneys goes to the poet. The reindeer were named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen. Santa was dressed in fur top to bottom. He was an elf with a white beard and a twinkle in his eye. He had a pipe between his teeth and smoke wreathing around his head. The winks, the nods and the jolly laugh have their roots here. The poem was actually written by Henry Livingston but the credit is usually given to Moore.
The Real Santa
The Santa myth, evolved from a kind hearted Bishop who lived in the country of Lycia, a part of today’s Turkey in the 3rd century A.D. His name was Nicholas. It is not clear whether he was formally canonised to St. Nicholas. Anyway, since 1905 A.D, he has been referred to as St. Nicholas. He was born when his mother was in her late 40’s or probably early 50’s. When his parents died, they left him wealthy. He used the money to help people in need. His feast day Dec 6th was celebrated as St. Nicholas’ day. Since he was known for his gift giving, his feast day was celebrated by exchanging gifts. The pictures of this Santa Claus have no bearing to the Americanized one.
The Later Day Santa Claus
Thomas Nast an American Illustrator, portrayed the little elf with a round tummy that shook like a bowl of jelly when he laughed, into as rotund Santa. The North Pole workshop and the good/bad children list were added. These pictures of Santa appeared from 1860 to 1880 in the Harper’s magazine. They were published in the Christmas issues. In 1931, the first pictures of Santa Claus in human form and red suits appeared in Coca-Cola advertisements. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and Santa’s workshop elves were created in 1939 for Montgomery Ward Company. These are the pictures of Santa Claus you see today.