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Did Coca Cola invent
Santa Claus?

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Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?
Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus? The answer is No, Coca Cola did not invent Santa! But there is a strong connection between the two as the following article explains.

The History of St. Nicholas
The legend, history and origins of Santa Claus dates back to c AD 300 and the Bishop of Myra who subsequently was canonized and became known as Saint Nicholas. The life of Saint Nicholas inspired acts of charity and generosity.
During the 1100s nuns in France, inspired by St. Nicholas, began leaving small gifts on St. Nicholas Eve, December 5th, for the small children of poor families. The gifts were practical such as apples, oranges and nuts ensuring that children had good food to eat on the Saint's Day. The giving of gifts spread across Europe and into the New World.  

Legend and Origin of Santa Claus
St. Nicholas proved to be an inspiration to many writers. In 1812 an American author named Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 November 28, 1859) wrote 'A History of New York' in which he included a dream sequence which featured St. Nicholas soaring over treetops in a flying wagon. The American version of St. Nicholas originally came from the Dutch version called Sint Klaas - the idea of Santa Claus was born. Other writers started to add to the story. The famous poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" commonly known today by its opening line T'was the night before Christmas was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore. The poem 'Santa Claus and his Works' was written by George P. Webster. Both of these worked influenced the image of 'Santa Claus. The imagination of a cartoonist called Thomas Nast added ideas to this and changed the image still further as detailed in our section on Santa Pictures.

Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?
Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus? No! So how, where and when did Coca Cola come into the equation? The first Santa pictures depicted Santa wearing a variety of different colored suits including mauve, green, blue  and red.
In 1885 Louis Prang, a printer from Boston, introduced Christmas cards to America and in 1885 one of his most popular cards Christmas cards featured a red-suited Santa Claus. The modern day depiction or picture of Santa Claus wearing a red coat therefore became standard in the 1920's. The standard American Santa (who was life-sized wearing a red, fur-trimmed suit) was solidified still further by the work of the illustrators N. C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell. People have mistakenly attribute this red coated image to Coca Cola which is why the question "Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?" is frequently asked.

Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?
Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?
No. So what was their connection? At the same time that the red-coated image of Santa became popular in the 1920's an illustrator named Haddon H. Sundblom started working for the Coca-Cola company. The Coca Cola company colors were predominantly red with white. From 1931 Haddon H. Sundblom produced Santa pictures every Christmas depicting Santa in his red coat as part of the Coca-Cola Christmas advertising campaigns. Haddon H. Sundblom produced these pictures of Santa Claus for thirty five years from 1931 to 1964. The work of the wonderful Santa pictures by Haddon H. Sundblom captured the merry spirit of Christmas and caught the imagination of the public. The 'traditional' Santa image or icon was finally completed via  the strong advertising campaigns of Coca Cola! 

Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?

Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?

  • Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?
  • Coca Cola and Haddon H. Sundblom
  • Coca Cola and the changing appearance of Santa Claus
  • The first Santa images
  • The influence of illustrators, poets and authors and Coca Cola
  • Coca Cola company Christmas advertising campaigns
  • Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?

Did Coca Cola invent Santa Claus?

"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"

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