Behind the Artwork
Costume: Santa Paws
Ho ho ho! Our own Santa Claus / Father Christmas in two jolly variations.
This might be our most recognisable artwork, as we all know what he looks like – wether you call him Father Christmas, Santa or St Nicholas. We all recall his name fondly, in our case we have given his name a bit of a doggy twist, Santa Paws!
In our ‘Behind the artwork’ series where we highlight the historical accuracies of our original artwork as we like to sneak in all types of details to breath life into the person, era or historical person we’re depicting.
Santa as we know him today can easily be described wearing a big red robe, trousers and hat with white fur trimmings. With a long white beard and a full belly, his cheeks are pink whilst he’s a jolly.
So why is he wearing red? Most people will tell you that the modern Santa is dressed to match the red-and-white colours of a can of Coke, and was popularised by Coca Cola’s advertising in the 1930s. A great story, but the Santa we know today is much older, a patchwork character stitched together from different sources.
These include Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Greek bishop – who famously gave gift to the poor, especially children whilst wearing a red robe and English folk figure ‘Father Christmas” whose original green robe turned red over time.
Santa as we know him today owes much to the Dutch figure Sinterklass, based on St Nicolas – whose legend flourished in the once-Dutch city of New York. It was popular location for prosperous Manhattians such as Clement Clark Moore in the early 1800s.
Mr Moore penned the line ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ in 1823 and did as much as anyone to create the American idea of Santa Claus. A patron saint who gave presents to everyone, whether they wanted them or not.
It was in the 1820s, that advertisement for Christmas presents became common in the United States. Santa himself became became a frequent commercial icon as retailers had found a way to clear their end of year stock.
Santa’s beloved buddy Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was unlike Santa, invented as a marketing gimmick. The character, no synonymous with Christmas, was created by Robert L. May in 1939 as an assignment for Chicago-based Montfomery Ward. The retailer had been buying and giving away colouring books for Christmas each year and decided that creating their own book would save money.
An icon loved by children and adults alike, he is instantly recognisable and for many the epitome of Christmas – woven into warm childhood memories.
As there are many versions and names for him we wanted to create our own, Santa Paws.
Wearing the recognisable red coat with white fur trimmings whilst holding a bell to ring in Christmas with his arrival – accompanied with his Lapland reindeer.
Choose between our two different versions to have a truly unique artwork for the festive month, we’re certain it will be a talking point around the Christmas dinner – between pulling crackers and opinionated conversations about brussel sprouts.
This costume is for the owner that goes all out for Christmas and most likely has boxes and boxes of decorations, but does not yet have a unique artwork of the best boy/girl that has been on the nice list every year.