What Charles Dickens did to revive celebrating Christmas in England ( holiday was sparsely celebrated in his day) by his memorable tale in A Christmas Carol, German immigrant and political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, did to create the image of the modern Santa Claus through his Harper’s Magazine’s illustrations over decades.
The familiar Santa Claus today… round-bellied, ruddy-nosed, pipe smoker, white hair/beard and ” Ho Ho ho’er” came from many different influences including Clement Moore ‘s famous prose… Twas the Night Before Christmas.
But actually, as early as 1863, Nast drew a Santa Claus visiting the Union troops … encouraging soldiers to keep the union together for the children and their families back home.
Nast, as a political cartoonist, created the two symbols for our political parties-donkey -Democratic and elephant -Republican. He also took on corrupt politicians…like William ” Boss Tweed” …exposing him through cartoons to the many illiterate immigrants pouring into the country falling prey to his corruptive policies… they might not be able to speak or read English yet… but everyone could understand a cartoon… no words needed.
It was also Nast who added a toy workshop, residence at the North Pole, naughty or nice children-coals or presents, writing letters to Santa, flying reindeer, scooting down chimneys to deliver gifts, tracking Santa’s route and upon the invention of the telephone… children calling Santa.
So until tomorrow… Creating Santa Claus… the universal symbol of imagination, creativity, and eternal child-like wonder embodied many different talented writers, illustrators, and believers in the sacred reverence and awe of childhood…. in goodness and belief in a world where” Santa exists as certainly as love, generosity, and devotion exist.”
Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh
A cliffhanger … when I signed off Saturday night and posted Sunday’s Chapel of Hope story. The Clemson-UNC game was just getting ready to start … I was really nervous but now we know the ending and I was so pumped I didn’t fall asleep until early in the morning Sunday! What a game… it felt like the ghosts of Clemson past had returned… fast-paced playing and the whole defensive team ” stone-walled” repeatedly keeping UNC out of the end zone.
But it was the interviews following the game that made me so proud to be a Clemson fan. So many players putting their trust in Someone bigger than themselves to lead them. Amazing grace!
The light was definitely shining down on the the Clemson Tigers Saturday night and everyone was ” All In!”
PS…. Apparently I have been hacked… so don’t befriend ” Single Dingle” ????? ( Eva Cate found it and let me know! )