Santa Claus                             

a 2018 compilation by

Clad in red, full bodied, white bearded and lavish bell ringer is this jolly old gentleman we all know from countless street corners at Christmas for quite some time. But who is this man? And how did he land up in the States?

The nature of his thorough involvement with American Christmas scene has turned this mythical creation into a living Christmas icon today. And at the same time it has almost forced us to imagine him landing with a group of Dutch and English settlers who are attributed to be the initiators of this tradition in America. Santa Claus is the sum total of several trends, customs and beliefs that only got unified about a century and a half ago. His story is told through an ex-animation of the three names given to him in America: St. Nicholas, Kriss Kringle and Santa Clause.

Much of the present form of the Santa story is undoubtedly due to the works of Clement Clark Moore and the cartoons of Thomas Nast. In 1822, Dr. Moore from New York wrote a Christmas poem, "A visit from St. Nicholas" to read out to his children on X'mas Eve. The following year one Ms Harriet Butler read the poem and requested a copy from him. Later she sent it without  Dr. Moore's consent for publishing to Troy, New York Sentinel. Consequently it was published and became popular. In 1938 Dr. Moore revealed that St. Nicholas was his creation. And since then it has appeared countless times. 

The 19th century American cartoonist Nast who had lived on the same West 23rd Street as Dr. Moore, did a series of Christmas drawings for Harper's Weekly. It was where the today's much familiar fat and rosy cheeked Santa with large beard and ringing bell made his debut after being modified from fat, little elf-like creature depicted in Dr. Moore's poem.

And perhaps what made Santa more realistic is the classic reply of the editor of New York Sun in response to the 8-year old Virginia O' Hanlon's query whether there really was a Santa Claus. The ed replied "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus', and made Santa living for ever to the kids.