Throughout history, around the world, people have had vastly different images of “Sintirklass,” “St. Nicholas,” and “Father Christmas”. In America, we’ve been influenced by the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”: “He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf…”
That’s pretty much the way it was before an artist named Haddon Sundblom and the Coca-Cola Company. The Coke folk wanted people to know that their drink was just as good in the winter as in the heat of summer. What better spokesman for such a message than Santa?
Sundblom did indeed take inspiration from Clement Moore’s poem. Starting in 1931, and annually for the next 33 years, Sundblom created the image of Santa that prevails today.