3 Dec 21 – The History of Santa
I am so grateful to be celebrating Christmas in the present day. Well… there are some downsides.
Sorry about the very poor-quality sketch of The Boob, I was starting to get a queasy stomach so I couldn’t spend too long on it.
If you thought that was bad, don’t read on, because Christmas in the olden days was a gruesome and sinister experience.
Before St Nick turned up there was Joulustaato who rode a sledge pulled by forest creatures. He didn’t appreciate the need for proper hydration and probably, like the rest of us, thought Smart Water, with its fancy electrolytes and pH balance, was an absolute rip-off, so he decided to drink the blood of children instead, and chomped their brains for afters.
Tricky decision, I know, but if you’re still umming and ahing, I don’t think children’s brains have the same hydrational qualities as Smart Water (you can use that in your next ad, Smart Water Company.)
But parents back then didn’t give two hoots about the feelings of children, and these stories were useful. Joulustaato had very sensitive hearing so if you weren’t super quiet on Christmas Eve you died horribly.
Then there was these delightful characters. Belsnickel which is old German for ‘wallop someone’ and The Krampus, who was a mutated goat that beat children with a birch stick and ate them for Christmas dinner. Now, I’m not a big fan of turkey
but I think I’ll stick with it rather than eat my children.
Not sure what gas mark they go on anyway.
So thank the lord for St Nicholas, when he came along. Sort of. He was an aggressive man who turned up at houses, and scooped naughty children, who couldn’t answer his questions about the Bible, into his sack to take them away to Hell.
This is what he really looked like, according to some monastery in Sinai.
I, for one, do not want that guy creeping round my bedroom at 2.00 am. And just for the record, I don’t want any man creeping round my bedroom at 2.00 am. Or woman, just to be inclusive.
Okay, one woman.
It wasn’t really until the 1800s that Christmas got nicer. Clement Clark Moore wrote ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ a.k.a. ‘Twas the night before Christmas.’ and St Nick became a jolly fellow with a belly like jelly – I’m summarizing.
40 years later Thomas Nast drew this jelly bellied fellow and Santa was born.
Sorry, Thomas Nast for wrecking your drawing. The doll looks like it’s doing something in its nappy, a happy accident, as the great Bob Ross would say.
After this, Prince Albert brought over the tradition of the Christmas tree
And then Coca-cola put Santa in red, just like their logo, and monetize the hell out of him for the rest of the century.
Modern Christmas was here.
Oh, and to keep me mam happy, I think Jesus was born around this time as well.
That’s it once again.
I wonder what it would’ve been like to be Mary, collecting the Son of God from the school gates
Have a great weekend.
Take care and all the best,
(If you want to leave a comment below, that would be great)