Santa on Parole. In the early 1800’s, a man by the name of Washington Irving described the image he had of Santa Claus in a satire of New York. Legend has it that the Dutch had a figure of Saint Nicholas on the prow of their ship showing him with a pipe, and a wide brimmed hat. His image along with the Dutch ship description drew out Irving’s idea of a chubby, jolly man led by reindeers. Inspired by Washington Irving, Dr. Clement Moore, whose famous poem Twas The Night Before Christmas gave Santa Claus eight named reindeers along with his entrance into homes through the chimney.

Circa. 1900. New York

Thomas Nast is credited with creating our popular image of Santa Claus. Below, we present Thomas Nast’s Earliest published works of Santa Claus and Christmas Traditions. All of these illustrations appeared in Harper’s Weekly newspapers in the years 1863 -1865. This is a fabulous source of information on the History of Santa Claus, and the origins of our Christmas Traditions. It can be seen that our popular image of Santa was first introduced by Nast during the Civil War. Thomas Nast’s picture of Santa would continue to evolve over the years, but it is fascinating to study these early images and spot all the Santa traditions that we still practice today.Perhaps most interesting about this print is the special gift in Santa’s hand. Santa is holding a dancing puppet of none-other-than Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. The likeness to Jefferson Davis is unmistakable. Even more interesting, Davis appears to have the string tied around his neck, so Santa appears to by Lynching Jefferson Davis!

"Everything about this Vintage Creepy Santa, Reindeer and Spoiled Brat Photograph is pure win. But I mean, damn. Newly Paroled Santa, is that a a deer in your pocket? Because you certainly aren't happy to see us. (Did you catch that vague and furthermore lame attempt at pervy humor? You're most welcome for that wee dose of holiday blasphemy and bad taste.) "

Most people would claim that this is a tradition that has its roots far back in history, but it was not until the 1930s that the familiar image of Santa in his red suit became popular.In the 1822 poem now known as’The Night Before Christmas, Clement Clarke Moore described Santa as a jolly old elf, who looked a bit like a peddler.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his sack.

"But look at their faces! Who knew singing would be so orgasmic? Had I known that, I'd have spread some damn Christmas spirit long ago. On second thought, singing carols in public makes me the exact opposite of cheerful. "Murderous rampage" some might say. I'll save the drug-addled singing to the pros. Take it away, Carol and Bob! No really. Take it away...."

Read More:

The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus by Ogden Nash

In Baltimore there lived a boy,
He wasn’t anybody’s joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.
In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies’ re

g glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.

He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked ‘ No Admittance’ .
He said he acted thus because
There wasn’t any Santa Claus.
Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying ‘ Boo!’ at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.

The English Father Christmas has his roots as far back as the 17th century when he was known as the Ghost of Christmas Present. He was usually depicted wearing green robes and was a jolly man full of good cheer. In 1862 cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly, he depicted him as elf like with a tan coloured tunic. He continued to draw him for the next 30 years and over time the colour of the outfit changed from tan to red. Read more:

Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes, ‘There isn’t any Santa Claus!’ Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.

Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild: ‘Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn’t any Santa Claus!’ Slunk like a weasel or a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot, ‘There isn’t any, no there’s not!’

"Would you let your children pose with this Santa and his taxidermy donkey? This postcard is part of an extensive collection of found photos belonging to Albert Tanquero...."

The children wept all Christmas Eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared to hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez’ ribald mocking.
He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.

What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.
What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of ‘ Don’t , ‘and ‘ Pretty please.’ He howled, ‘I don’t know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!’

‘Jabez, ‘replied the angry saint, ‘It isn’t I, it’s you that ain’t .
Although there is a Santa Claus,
There isn’t any Jabez Dawes!’ Said Jabez with impudent vim, ‘Oh, yes there is; and I am him!
Your magic don’t scare me, it doesn’t ‘ And suddenly he found he wasn’t !

From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.
The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.

Santa. 1841. New York Mirror

All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.
Alternative Ending to Santa Claus by Ogden Nash

And went and hung their stockings up.

All you who sneer at Santa Claus, beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who told the saint off; the child who got him, licked his paint off.

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