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Morall_tach t1_j23wssr wrote

The poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" from 1823 created a lot of what we now think of as canon Santa lore. First mention of a sleigh pulled by reindeer, for example.


CranstonBickle t1_j23xz8p wrote

The Dutch Sinterklaas had its roots about that time as well - similar thing


temporarysecretary17 t1_j261b7j wrote

Pretty sure Santa Claus is actually an anglicized version of the name sinterklaas.


Nomomommy t1_j277293 wrote

Just gonna throw this in: reindeer love Amanita Muscaria mushrooms (the famous red one with white dots that smurfs live in?) and they get fuuuuucked up. That mushroom is so potent, Shamans in Scandinavia and Siberia would feed them to their deer, collect the urine, boil it down and drink it and also get fucked up. That's my flying reigndeer reference.


oh-propagandhi t1_j27qtnu wrote

It's less about the strength and more that the deer filter out the good compounds while harmlessly absorbing some of the compounds that fuck up a human stomach pretty bad.


Nomomommy t1_j27zjhb wrote

Ahh. Mushroom tummy, that sounds more accurate. Thanks for weighing in.


CeterumCenseo85 t1_j277qo7 wrote

Funny how messy this is in Germany:

on 6th of Dec: St Nikolaus brings some small presents. An old man with a white beard, dressed in red and white.

on 24th of Dec: in northern Germany the "Christmas Man" (Weihnachtsmann) brings the presents. Basically Santa Claus. In roughly southern Germany the "Christ Child" (Christkind) brings the presents. It's not baby Jesus, and is instead portrayed as a girl with long, curled, blonde hair, even though it is generally considered genderless.


liquid_at t1_j241rwn wrote

It is known that the image of Santa Claus came from Saint Nicholas (of Myra), which to this day is said to visit kids on Dec 6th to bring small gifts.

The myth developed as a mix of Saint Nicholas stories, Roman Saturn and Norse Odin.

In some european parts, the role of the gift-bringer was replaced with baby jesus (which is also false, since the gifts were brought by the 3 wise men on Jan 6th... babies generally don't gift anything). Until recently it was quite common, for example in spain, to give gifts on jan 6th, not on christmas.

With colonization, the Dutch version of "Sinterklaas" was spread to the colonies.

The first appearance of Santa flying a wagon was in 1809 by Washington Irving. In 1822 a Poem by Clement Clark Moore went viral, spreading the idea further.

Coca Cola just took those mostly regional stories and put them on nation-wide stage first and world-wide stage later, spreading the idea around the world and establishing it further.

I'm pretty sure that some people learned about the stories from the coca cola commercials, but they merely adopted it and gave it a bit of their own spin (like santa wanting you to put out a coke for him instead of milk and cookies)


ramriot t1_j25f1lb wrote

From what I've seen the red suit of Santa was first mentioned in 1881 when Thomas Nast, illustrated the earlier Clark poem which only mentions a fir clothed Santa from head to foot.

As to Coca-Cola it did not hurt them to present Santa to the world in their ads in their own corporate colors.


BoldlyGettingThere t1_j25va0n wrote

So what you’re saying is one day we could get a game where Kratos fights Santa.


adamcoe t1_j264c2n wrote

David Sedaris has an absolutely amazing story about dutch Santa. Go on YouTube and look up "David Sedaris - 6 to 8 Black Men"


uncled0d0 t1_j26bbm7 wrote

Three wise men is false. There were three kinds of gifts however. Having said that, your detail goes into more depth than the "article."


croninsiglos t1_j23w1ek wrote


giuliomagnifico OP t1_j23xmrc wrote

Oh I didn’t know, thanks. Anyway if you search (also in this subreddit), you will find lots of posts/info about “how Coca-Cola created the modern Santa Claus”.


TheToastIsBlue t1_j241kkp wrote

Do you believe everything a corporation tells you?


Picker-Rick t1_j25vgkh wrote

If they have no reason to lie, and they have the records of exactly what happened... Yes I believe them.

No, I wouldn't believe "everything" that anyone told me.


Mr_SkeletaI t1_j25kpmf wrote

Do you just believe everything the internet tells you?


M4choN4ch0 t1_j23x70t wrote

Did Coca Cola manipulate the zeitgeist in order to better push their highly addictive and horribly unhealthy products on the world even harder than they already do?

No, says Coca Cola.

Even if it is true, the last people I would ask are the accused in this case


croninsiglos t1_j23xbon wrote

You sound angry, did they hurt you?


bettyboober t1_j24ceaj wrote

The Coca-Cola company made me obese and I now have diabetes II


M4choN4ch0 t1_j23xf23 wrote

You sound like a halfwit. Have you anything to actually add here?


croninsiglos t1_j23xyjo wrote

Are you suggesting that they are lying?


TheToastIsBlue t1_j241hg8 wrote

Are you suggesting they wouldn't?


agreeingstorm9 t1_j24o6xm wrote

You're saying that Coke did indeed invent the modern Santa Claus despite them saying they didn't. What evidence do you have to support this claim?


TheToastIsBlue t1_j24ydje wrote

> You're saying that Coke did indeed invent the modern Santa Claus despite them saying they didn't. What evidence do you have to support this claim?

I'm not saying anything of the sort. It's offensive for you to put words in my mouth.

I'm asking if the above user is trying to suggest that the Coca-Cola corporations wouldn't lie.


agreeingstorm9 t1_j24ytyd wrote

Coke says they didn't invent Santa. You say we should not believe them when they say that.


TheToastIsBlue t1_j25103i wrote

>Coke says they didn't invent Santa. You say we should not believe them when they say that.

What the FUUUUCK are you talking about? Who said they invented Santa clause?

>You say we should not believe them when they say that.

Where did I say that?


agreeingstorm9 t1_j25cnoj wrote

> What the FUUUUCK are you talking about? Who said they invented Santa clause?

You don't realize what thread you're in do you?


TheHeigendov t1_j24oif4 wrote

Why would they have any reason to lie about creating the neo-modern Sinterklaas*? This is flat earther levels of conspiracy


TheToastIsBlue t1_j25039m wrote

> Why would they have any reason to lie about creating santa clause?

People complain about the commodifying of Christmas all the time. It's really not crazy to think a company wouldn't want to be the go-to example.

(Also who the fuck said anything about "creating Santa clause")


TheHeigendov t1_j252602 wrote

>(Also who the fuck said anything about “creating Santa clause”)

The modern image of santa claus*. Thank you for being pedantic, I'm sure that was cathartic for you.


TheToastIsBlue t1_j252hmc wrote

> People complain about the commodifying of Christmas all the time. It's really not crazy to think a company wouldn't want to be the go-to example.


TheHeigendov t1_j25495f wrote

>It’s really not crazy to think a company wouldn’t want to be the go-to example.

Of course its not, but why would coca-cola see themselves this way? I don't see much criticism of their supposed creation of what I have dubbed The Post-Modern Sinterklaas, though I have seen much nostalgia.


oh-propagandhi t1_j27r5a0 wrote

Last? Bro, asking the accused is the basis of justice. The accused can provide facts that support a defense or could be damning. You shouldn't make judgement calls on gut feelings.


AlexBucks93 t1_j23xl9v wrote

Aah yes, big corporations never lied. Lmao


CrassDemon t1_j23ycpe wrote

What do you think they are lying about in that link?


AlexBucks93 t1_j23ymba wrote

Not lying about one thing does not Change the fact that we should not trust them

And to add, the link from this trustworthy company does not say the same thing as the link from OP from the guardian.

But Please go ahead and gobble on coca cola propaganda as you wish


CrassDemon t1_j241gak wrote

So... they're not lying? What was the point of your comment then?

This is a weird thing to get your panties in a twist about. Chill, it's just a story about a made up dude.

*I didn't see anything inherently contradictory in either articles


AlexBucks93 t1_j2435f5 wrote

Coca Cola claims that there were many depictions before their ads, when it’s not true. If you read the guardian piece and compared what is on the Coca Cola website you would see the difference.


CrassDemon t1_j244mof wrote

There were many depictions though...

German saint Nicholas (although similar) was skinny with a tall hat for instance. In Norway he wore green, in some English depictions he didn't have a white beard. It doesn't say they created the image, only that they popularized the image that is now what most people think of as Santa Claus. And they did by putting that image in all their advertising that was put everywhere.

My great grandma had a couple dozen Santa statues from all over the world, they varied quite a bit.


Minuted t1_j242f24 wrote

>Not lying about one thing does not Change the fact that we should not trust them

That's... not a very useful way of looking at things. Whether or not you trust what someone says should be based on a number of factors, their trustworthiness, sure, but also their motivations and what they would gain by telling the truth or lying.

Coca Cola would probably have a lot to gain by pushing the idea they invented the image of Santa Claus. The fact that it would so easily disprovable if they were to claim that they did is also another reason to expect them to be telling the truth in this instance.

That said they do seem to push the idea that they somehow solidified his appearance from a number of other depictions, which isn't really true, or at least they're vague enough in their wording to imply it without stating it. The modern image of Santa existed before Coca Cola began advertising.

>There was a period of overlap during which the modern Santa Claus character coexisted with other Christmas figures and other versions of himself, as his now-standard appearance and persona jelled and his character grew in popularity to become the dominant (secular) Christmas figure in the western world. However, that period had ended before Coca-Cola began utilizing Santa for their holiday season advertisements. As noted in a New York Times article published in 1927, four years before the appearance of Sundblom's first Santa-based Coca-Cola ad, the Santa Claus figure rendered by Sundblom was based upon what had already become the standard image of Santa:
>Coke's annual advertisements featuring Sundblom-drawn Santas holding bottles of Coca-Cola, drinking Coca-Cola, receiving Coca-Cola as gifts, and enjoying Coca-Cola became a perennial Christmastime feature which helped spur Coca-Cola sales throughout the winter (and produced the bonus effect of appealing quite strongly to children, an important segment of the soft drink market). One might therefore fairly grant Coca-Cola some credit for cementing the modern image of Santa Claus in the public consciousness, as in an era before the advent of television, before color motion pictures became common, and before the widespread use of color in newspapers, Coca-Cola's magazine advertisements, billboards, and point-of-sale store displays were for many Americans their primary exposure to the modern Santa Claus image. But at best what Coca-Cola popularized was an image they borrowed, not one they created.


[deleted] t1_j2414kf wrote



AlexBucks93 t1_j241bgx wrote

Sorry for trusting guardian more than coca cola. And as I wrote in the comment you replied they are not saying the same thing. Cocacola claims it popularized the santa claus in the current form, when guardian says that this form was almost in every portrayal in the XIX century.

Weird thing to get your parties in a twist just because someone does not trust your beloved corporation.


horsemagicians t1_j25idwa wrote

It says what the top comment in this thread said, like quite literally in the first 2 sentences. They said they didn’t invent Santa Clause but helped shape it. Taking a bunch of regional ideas and putting it into one character and because it was nation wide advertising that idea spread everywhere.


Jason_Worthing t1_j241jhv wrote

People thought Coke invented the modern Santa? That's news to me


Bigmodirty t1_j241w9g wrote

Yea first I’m hearing of this “myth”


AlexBucks93 t1_j243uo2 wrote

There were a few posts on this sub claiming this ‘myth’ was true


otto280z t1_j2456nm wrote

Isnt the narrative that they got his "Jolly look" refined to what it is now? And since cocacola had the means to advertise with posters and magazines, the image was dispursed worldwide. Before Coca-Cola's ad campaign, he was portrayed in many different iterations with no standardized look. Even in night before Christmas he is described as a little elf on a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.


WVPrepper t1_j24ds65 wrote

Watch out... one of the links that was supposed to take me to a Santa image took me to some sort of anime-chat thing.


MarkRevan t1_j25brbo wrote

In Eastern Europe Saint Nick is often portrayed with heavy furs, which are brown. Or in very thick winter clothing. If he is portrayed in colors, blue is usually his color of choice. Because blue is associated with winter and frost.
Coca-Cola didn't invent the modern Saint Nick, but they did a hell of a job to popularize a version of him that matched their color scheme. You don't see Saint Nick associated with Heineken for example. Or Mountain Dew.


TheRealProcyon t1_j28pcaw wrote

In Western Europe he's either in white or red, considering the Dutch immigrants brought him over, it's only logical that he was red from the early 19th century, considering the Dutch Saint Nicholas outfit had red in it


StampYoPassport t1_j24d6wt wrote

I always thought his red suit was the Coke contribution as he was usually depicted in green prior to the 1930s.


Qazax1337 t1_j25xrtz wrote

No he was commonly depicted in red before coke stuck their oar in. He was also depicted in green or blue, but red was far from uncommon. They just want you to think that because their logo is red.


Letifer_Umbra t1_j246ewc wrote

Santa Claus comes from Sinter Klaas in the Netherlands, who wears red as well.


Gandzilla t1_j24t7k9 wrote

Nikolaus von Myra (altgriechisch Νικόλαος Μυριώτης Nikólaos Myriṓtēs who is from turkey.

The Dutch don’t even celebrate sinter Klaas on the right day (5/6 December)

But yeah, the red Color is old:

This town has st Nicolaus in red (but white and green also existed)


Letifer_Umbra t1_j24tcbf wrote

Ok the dutch might got it from turkey but dutch immigrants brought it to America.


Gandzilla t1_j24u56j wrote

No, the person was born in modern turkey.

The tradition is widely spread across Central Europe


giuliomagnifico OP t1_j23vt4y wrote

Lots of interesting fact in the linked article, the first myth debunked:

> 1 Coca-Cola designed the modern Santa Claus as part of an advertising campaign > >This is one you always hear at dinner parties. It makes the speaker sound rather clever and cynical. Except it’s tosh. Coca-Cola did start using Santa in advertising in 1933. But Santa had been portrayed almost exclusively in red from the early 19th century and most of his modern image was put together by cartoonist Thomas Nast in the 1870s. Even if you were to confine your search to Santa in American soft drinks adverts, you would find a thoroughly modern Santa Claus in the posters for White Rock that came out in 1923.


SugarButterFlourEgg t1_j250y1b wrote

Thomas Nast is also the guy who drew a donkey for the Democratic Party and an elephant for the Republican Party.


KevMenc1998 t1_j243ezn wrote

Huh! You know, I'd heard the same myth and believed it until today.


Picker-Rick t1_j25x619 wrote

IT's not entirely untrue.

Here's another interesting view of santa through the ages.

"While Coca-Cola didn’t invent the modern day Santa, Sundblom’s paintings are believed to have strongly influenced the way other artists have depicted Santa ever since."

One thing to notice is that throughout history santa has changed drastically, but since 1931, Pretty much every santa at every mall and every commercial and tree ornament looks identical.

In 2500, people looking back will probably look at a collection of what santa looked like through the ages and the 21st century will have a coca cola santa. It's the santa that (currently) defines what santa should look like.


view-master t1_j29bdhc wrote

That’s an excellent article. While it’s probably correct to say that an ad campaign popularized his look, it’s clear from this article that his look as we know it today went back as far as 1902.

That Boys Life from 1913 would have had a huge distribution too. It’s not as if it was some obscure depiction.


Picker-Rick t1_j2a8y7q wrote

I would say that boy's life looks very similar. Probably 90% of the way there.

Which is why I say that it's mostly a myth that coke created santa.

But, the differences are pretty important. The coke center has the giant thick conveyor belt, the boys life has a regular belt. The BL has some kind of fencing gauntlets? And the coke Santa has the trademark white trim on his sleeves. The BL Santa looks pretty average sized overall, but the coke Santa is the massively obese jelly bellied Santa...

And those small differences have really become characteristic. What I mean is that if you ask somebody to describe or draw Santa 90 years later, it's going to have those characteristics of the coke Santa.

And while there have been plenty of changes throughout the centuries, some big some small it really hasn't been any change in Santa since 1931.

So the reason it's not a total myth is that they did cement the characteristics and refined the image of the modern Santa.

Though I wouldn't be surprised if he looked completely different than another 100 years.


chadslc t1_j272l0v wrote

I tried to make this same point and kept getting downvoted by dullards.


Harry-hausens t1_j24u03t wrote

He's red like the mushroom that grows only beneath deciduous trees.


RainsWrath t1_j27q7mx wrote

With white sprinkled in, he fly's with agate unmatched.


AnotherJasonOnReddit t1_j256e7u wrote

Hopefully David Harbour's Santa will address it and put this to rest once and for all in a "Violent Night 2" movie.


TheIronMark t1_j25nyjh wrote

Neat. I'll have to own up to spreading the myth, but at least I learned something new.


msnmck t1_j25q3q1 wrote

You made this?


I made this.


PegaLaMega t1_j268g3m wrote

Santa Claus was bff's with Krampus.


LtGman t1_j2691tq wrote

Sounds like Coca-Cola hired a PR person


Worried_Knowledge88 t1_j26lyo3 wrote

I did not know that Coca-Cola did not design the modern Santa Claus.


TheToastIsBlue t1_j252vdc wrote

People complain about the commodifying of Christmas all the time. I don't think a company would want to be the go-to example.


cathetc t1_j261ryg wrote

I’m not sure if this article is completely true. I remember an old Christmas ornament my parents had that was from the 70’s of Santa dressed in green. I think from the 80’s onwards Santa is depicted wearing only red.