I have separated the stories of my previous Blog – “Christmas Stories – True or Myths” into shorter versionsThe famed American cartoonist Thomas Nast is generally credited as having invented the modern depiction of Santa Claus
- For the Christmas season he was assigned to draw the magazine’s cover, and legend has it that Lincoln himself requested a depiction of Santa Claus visiting Union troops.
- The resulting cover, from the Harper’s Weekly dated January 3, 1863, was a hit. It shows Santa Claus on his sleigh, which has arrived at a U.S. Army camp, festooned with a “Welcome Santa Claus” sign.
- He is also credited with creating the notion that Santa lived at the North Pole and kept a workshop manned by elves.
◊Once there was a monk known as St. Nicholas. He was born in Patara (near what we now know as Turkey) in 280 AD. He was known to be very kind, and that reputation led to many legends and stories.
- One story involved him giving away his inherited wealth while he helped those who were sick and poor around the country.
- Another story is that he saved three sisters from being sold into slavery.
- Eventually he became known as the protector of children and sailors
◊The Dutch maintained the celebration of St. Nicholas far more than other cultures, and brought that celebration to America.
- The Dutch gave St. Nicholas the nickname, “Sinter Klass”, and by 1804 woodcuts of Sinter Klass came to define modern day images of Santa.
- Washington Irving popularized Sinter Klass in The History of New York by defining him as the patron saint of the city.
more to come