The Evolution of Santa Claus

Did you know that the history of Santa Claus dates back to 1773? The name Santa Claus evolved from the Dutch nickname “Sinter Klaas,” which was a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas. Dutch families in New York used to gather in honor of the anniversary of St. Nicholas’ death on December 6th, and referred to him as “the protector of children and sailors.”

Washington Irving, the famous author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, helped popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York. As a result, American families started to center the holiday around children and gift giving. So, in the early 19th century, stores began to advertise Christmas shopping and newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements which often featured images of the newly-popular Santa Claus.

In the early 1890’s, the Salvation Army needed money to pay for the Christmas meals they provided to needy families, so they began dressing men up in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to collect donations. To this day, the familiar Salvation Army Santas are ringing bells on the street corners of America, spreading joy and collecting donations for the needy.

Present-day Santa Claus is known for his bright red coat, full white beard, and a sack full of toys for children. This image was first started in 1822 by an Episcopal minister, Clement Clarke Moore, who wrote a Christmas poem for his three daughters named An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas. This poem unknowingly created a new and immediately popular American icon. In 1881, cartoonist Thomas Nast drew inspiration from Moore’s poem to create the first “Santa Claus” image, which depicted Santa as a cheerful man with a white beard, holding a sack full of toys for children. He also gave Santa his bright red suit with white fur, his workshop at the North Pole, and his wife, Mrs. Claus.

Santa Claus has since been used in ads for just about anything. The most popular and well known company that uses Santa Claus to advertise is Coca-Cola. Coke ads have been featuring Santa since the 1920’s, and these ads helped shape the image of present-day Santa. In 1931, Coca-Cola began placing ads in popular magazines, and wanted to show a wholesome Santa who was both realistic and symbolic. From 1931 to 1964, Coca-Cola advertising showed Santa delivering toys, pausing to read a letter and enjoy a Coke, visiting with the children who stayed up to greet him, and enjoying the treats left for him by the children.

Throughout history, the physical image of Santa Claus has changed drastically, from being described in the book The History of New York by Washington Irving as a “rascal” with a blue three-cornered hat and yellow stockings, to a man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and a “huge pair of Flemish trunk hose.”

The modern-day Santa is known for his jolly presence, red suit, and eight reindeer who fly him all over the world to deliver presents to children. The most popular reindeer of the eight is known as “Rudolph,” and was created by Robert L. May, who created a Christmas themed story to help bring traffic into his department store. The sales trick worked; Americans loved the underdog story of Rudolph being bullied by his fellow reindeer because of his glowing red nose, and then showing how Santa needed his glowing red nose to see when the weather was foggy. Still today, Americans love rooting for Rudolph the underdog reindeer and taking their kids to get their picture with a jolly Santa Claus at their local mall.

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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Republished with permission from MercuryOne.org.

Eric Weinstein, managing director of investment firm Thiel Capital and host of "The Portal" podcast, is not a conservative, but he says conservative and center-right-affiliated media are the only ones who will still allow oppositional voices.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Eric told Glenn that the center-left media, which "controls the official version of events for the country," once welcomed him, but that all changed about eight years ago when they started avoiding any kind of criticism by branding those who disagree with them as "alt-right, far-right, neo-Nazi, etc.," even if they are coming from the left side of the aisle. But their efforts to discredit critical opinions don't stop there. According to Eric, there is a strategy being employed to destroy our national culture and make sure Americans with opposing views do not come together.

"We're trifling with the disillusionment of our national culture. And our national culture is what animates the country. If we lose the culture, the documents will not save us," Eric said. "I have a very strongly strategic perspective, which is that you save things up for an emergency. Well, we're there now."

In the clip below, Eric explains why, after many requests over the last few years, he finally agreed to this podcast.

Don't miss the full interview with Eric Weinstein here.

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Glenn Beck: Why MLK's pledge of NONVIOLENCE is the key to saving America

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Listen to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pledge of nonviolence and really let it sink in: "Remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory."

On the radio program, Glenn Beck shared King's "ten commandments" of nonviolence and the meaning behind the powerful words you may never have noticed before.

"People will say nonviolent resistance is a method of cowards. It is not. It takes more courage to stand there when people are threatening you," Glenn said. "You're not necessarily the one who is going to win. You may lose. But you are standing up with courage for the ideas that you espouse. And the minute you engage in the kind of activity that the other side is engaging in, you discredit the movement. You discredit everything we believe in."

Take MLK's words to heart, America. We must stand with courage, nonviolently, with love for all, and strive for peace and rule of law, not "winning."

Watch the video below for more:

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Conservatives are between a rock and a hard place with Section 230 and Big Tech censorship. We don't want more government regulation, but have we moved beyond the ability of Section 230 reforms to rein in Big Tech's rising power?

Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute's senior director of policy, joined the Glenn Beck radio program to give her thoughts and propose a possibly bipartisan alternative: enforcing our existing antitrust laws.

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Dan Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show, is an investor in Parler — the social media platform that actually believes in free speech. Parler was attacked by Big Tech — namely Amazon, Apple, and Google — earlier this week, but Bongino says the company isn't giving up without a fight. In fact, he says, he's willing to go bankrupt over this one.

Dan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he calls a "smear" campaign behind the scenes, and how he believes we can move forward from Big Tech's control.

"You have no idea how bad this was behind the scenes," Dan told Glenn. "I know you're probably thinking ... well, how much worse can the attack on Parler have gotten than three trillion-dollar companies — Amazon, Apple, and Google — all seemingly coordinated to remove your business from the face of the Earth? Well, behind the scenes, it's even worse. I mean, there are smear campaigns, pressure campaigns ... lawyers, bankers, everyone, to get this company ... wiped from the face of the earth. It's incredible."

Dan emphasized that he would not give up without a fight, because what's he's really fighting for is the right to free speech for all Americans, regardless of their political opinions, without fear of being banned, blacklisted, or losing jobs and businesses.

"I will go bankrupt. I will go absolutely destitute before I let this go," he said. "I have had some very scary moments in my life and they put horse blinders on me. I know what matters now. It's not money. It's not houses. It's none of that crap. It's this: the ability to exist in a free country, where you can express your ideas freely."

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