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!”

Support Mercury One and their initiatives to provide humanitarian aid and education and to restore the human spirit by clicking here. Together, we can make a difference.

Republished with permission from MercuryOne.org.

Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.