Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Cokemas!


Just for the sake of this post, I'm going to assume that a majority of you, my dear readers, celebrate Christmas. Although I'm not a religious person, I was raised Presbyterian and I still enjoy all the trappings of this holiday.  I still get embarrassingly choked up at non-secular Christmas hymns.  And I still like Santa (except for the creepy "he sees you when you're sleeping/knows when you're awake" part).

So when I saw this wonderful item offered on Old Stuff Only, I HAD to have it.  At first I thought it was an advent calendar but upon closer inspection I noticed it's made up of gift tags and package toppers.  Clever!  There is also a bit of trivia on the sheet - did you know that the image we have of Santa in the red suit and white beard was fabricated by an artist named Haddon Sundblom?  According to the Coke people, he was created in 1931 (only 80 years ago!) specifically for the Coca-Cola company.  I remember hearing that somewhere before, and it's sort of depressing.  I mean, one of the most beloved icons in Christmas culture was imagined for an ad campaign?  Sigh.  (P.S.  Click on the Wikipedia link, above - "Sunny" used his Santa likeness for more risque images as well!  You old dog, you!)

It seems to me that perhaps Mr. Sundblom had a little help from the old poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (or as we now call it, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"), by Clement Moore (or Henry Livingston, Jr., depending on who you ask.  Didn't these people copyright their work back then?).  The poem was written in 1823, a full 108 years before the Coke Santa came into being ("Coke Santa" sounds so very wrong, doesn't it?).

There's a bit of Santa backlash happening from younger generations, who view the whole idea of Santa and his negative reinforcement discipline as not quite right.  I've heard from more than one person that the concept of sitting on an old guy's lap and whispering your innermost desires into his ear is also a wee bit off-putting.  So we shall see how the Coke Santa fares in the decades to come.

Meanwhile, if you favor this image of Santa, enjoy!  Oh, and if you're wondering if this piece of ephemera is going to be cut up, I'm going to say, "not yet".  Although, if I snag one or two more of these babies, then my answer will change to a resounding, "Absolutely!".  :D

Merry Christmas, everyone!  :D



3 comments:

  1. *kermitflail*

    I did not see those on Old Stuff Only the last time I placed an order! I think I would be tempted to photocopy it in color and then cut out the bottle toppers! Now I need to go place yet another order. :-)

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  2. Oh, Amy! I'm SO stealing *kermitflail*! Do you mind? That is AWESOME. :D

    I think I got this about 3 weeks ago - and YES! they're still available! :D http://www.oldstuffonly.com/items/holidays/coksanta-give-detail.htm

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  3. Steal away! It's a great descriptor. :-D

    I just got an order last week from them, but I think my mom wants to order as well. Might have to sneak one in with hers!

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