Firstly, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!
Every day, millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. One of those questions lately is: Where did Santa really come from?
Red robes, white beard, waist-slapping cheerfulness and booming ho-ho-hos. He’s been around for ever, hasn’t he?
Well, actually only since 1935, when Haddon Sundblo, a Madison Avenue advertising man, created Santa Claus for a Coca-Cola campaign.
In previous lives he was thinner and paler, a character based on a 4th Century Asian bishop called Nicholas. This same Nicholas then became the patron saint of children in most of Europe.
It was in Holland, where they called him Sinterklaas, that he earned his reputation for giving stuff away. A small pair of wooden shoes would be left by the fireplace and he would fill them with sweets.
Different countries still have their own variations on the theme, but that fat bloke in a red suit has pushed them all to the cultural margins.
What about Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer? Debt-ridden shop-worker Robert Mays invented him in 1947 as the hero of a bestselling book that made him a fortune. The song, written by an adman and a professional composer, came two years later. Who says Christmas isn’t magical?
TNT Christmas Countdown