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The Changing Image of Santa

Did you know Santa Claus wasn’t always so fat and jolly? He lost weight in 1931 when the Coca-Cola company decided a friendlier Santa would be better. They hired Haddon Sundblom to create a new Santa image. He was inspired by the 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” but changed him from an elf to a large, plump, smiling man with a long white beard. Vintage Santas can still be found with blue or green suits and straggly brown beards, but a new Santa in the U.S. is a pudgy, smiling man in a red suit.




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