Depression-Era Santa Starved From Lack Of Milk & Cookies

1937 Cactus

Actually, Santa wasn’t the one lacking that year. The UT Zeta house hosted a Christmas party for needy children, and a makeshift Santa proved too svelte for the outfit. It does make you wonder if folks left out perfectly good milk and cookies for Santa during the lean years.

The irony is that the tradition didn’t even START until the lean years. In an era of such economic hardship, many parents used the gesture as an example of generosity and gratitude for the gifts they¬† would receive on Christmas Day. The Greatest Generation indeed.

Because Coke Said That’s What Santa Looks Like

Coke 1939

Not until artist Haddon Sundblom illustrated Santa Claus for Coca-Cola advertisements in 1931, did Americans associate a large snowbearded man in a red suit with the image of Kris Kringle. Below is Sundblom, enjoying a frosty bottle of his labors.

Most of us grew up with the image he created and cannot fathom a slender Santa, much less one with dark hair or no facial hair at all. In 2015, this model tried to offer a trimmer version at Yorkdale Shopping Center in Toronto.

What do you think? Should Santa be svelte and hipster, rocking a Beat It jacket? Possibly even vegan?? I don’t think so. I like my Santa jolly and obese, and borderline diabetic from all that Coke and plates of cookies we leave out. I’d tell skinny Santa to beat it.

 

In The Arms Of Santa

Cactus 1943

This WWII Santa doesn’t appear that much older than the doe-eyed toddler he’s holding. Volunteering from a university fraternity, he seems a bit smoother about the edges than his later counterpart in 1967, shown below.

Tipi 1967

Sideburns and skinny ties share the stage with both a plusher Santa beard and Santa suit, which appears to have been velveteened. Of course, not everyone can get the Santa gig. Some folks have to settle for holiday titles.

Ozarko 1968

Who even knew Barnwarming Queen was a thing? Are barns notoriously cold? Do queens exude that much heat?

It looks pretty toasty for these Savitar Barnwarming Queen Candidates in 1959. The only real loser here is the missing “g” in barnwarming.

cafnr.missouri.edu

Makes it sound oddly like barn-worming. But that’s another thing altogether.