Thomas Nast – the man who drew Santa Claus

Father Christmas runs through his pre-flight checks with a mug of cocoa in hand.
The reindeers have their last big meal before the all night epic annual journey around the world.
The elves make sure that all the presents are loaded and safely stored.
Mrs Claus puts Santa’s big red jacket and boots by the radiator so they are nice and warm when it’s time for his adventure to begin.


Children around the world vow to stay awake to catch a glimpse of the legendary figure…


"Merry Old Santa Claus" by Thomas Nast from Harpers Weekly 1st Jan 1881


It is amazing how popular culture has immortalised St Nicolas and transformed him into image we know today. This image of Santa with his long beard and jolly demeanor originated during the American Civil War when in 1863 Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus visiting an army camp to give out presents to the soldiers and children. He is portrayed sitting on his sleigh that is pulled by reindeers.

I love that one of the soldiers can be seen receiving a pair of socks. I imagine that at the time and certainly in the location that would have been a luxury but how many people tomorrow will be unwrapping the same gift and having to force a look of joy!


"Santa Claus in Camp" by Thomas Nast from Harpers Weekly 3rd Jan, 1863


A lot of our traditions about Santa also stem from Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem, written in 1823, “A Visit from St Nicolas” or as it is more famously known “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.


I wish you a very Merry Christmas!


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