Mudcat Café message #853414 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54983   Message #853414
Posted By: GUEST,Q
24-Dec-02 - 11:24 PM
Thread Name: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
I have reproduced, on some of my cards. a full page picture of "Old King Christmas" from the Canadian Illustrated News, Dec. 23, 1876. He is shown as a rather regal fellow, well-nourished but not fat, a long staff in hir right hand and a charger filled with fruit in his left, with two attractive, apparently female young attendants, one holding plum pudding and other foods. A handsome turkey stands by the left foot of King Christmas (surely a Canadian substitute for the English goose).
I am trying to find out who created the current fat, red-robed Santa Claus, the candidate for an apoplectic stroke, from the various contributing figures, King Christmas, Father Christmas, the large elf shown by Nast, and St. Nick (someone has suggested a Coca-Cola illustration, but I don't know).
The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," by C. C. Moore, printed in a little paperback booklet (1823), was illustrated by the Dutch printer Onderdonk. An elf was shown driving the sleigh. The Dutch associations first came forward from his illustrations. In 1860, Nast printed an illustration of a large, jolly old elf in Harper's Weekly. I have not seen this illustration.
Some of the story here: First Santa

CapriUni is correct, St. Nick didn't get to North America until the floods of immigrants came after the American Revolution, Catholic Dutch with them.