A Poem and an Illustration that changed a Religious Holiday

So many of us start to buy things for Christmas on the afternoon of Thanks Giving, after the Macy’s parade, and all through December… The idea or concept of Good Will and Giving to others, giving gifts to family, friends and especially children, sometimes we seem to forget the religious part of the holiday, with Santa Clause, his elves and reindeer seeming to be recognized more so then Mary, the angel Gabriel and the Nativity…

Clement Clarke Moore largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus in his childrens tail “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, first printed in Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823… It was through this poem he established conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, and the tradition that he brings toys to children.

Thomas Nast in 1881’s illustration of Santa in “Merry Old Santa Claus”, from the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly… Some of his other illustration works also made their mark in our history- it was he who started doing political illustrations that became the logos for the two main political parties in the US being an elephant for the Republican Party and a Donkey for the Democratic Party and he also made his mark in doing the original Uncle Sam…

Roosevelt also had his hand in some of this marketing, as did Macy’s department store. It was On December 26, 1941 President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law. The day after would then be the beginning of sales for the next holiday, Christmas, to help the economy out of the great depression in sales, and Macy’s store who would help in making the Thanks Giving parade ending with Santa going through the parade to Macy’s store so children would be able to “Tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas”…

I often wonder, what images and concepts might come out of this world depression and out of these wars that might change the world…

Let us hope somehow, someway, it will be: Peace, Helping others, the Freedom Women’s Rights, Education, Rights of Good Health and Economic Freedom; for price of all those who have lost lives, loved ones and the economic challenges we in the US and the world are now facing…


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