Friday, October 8, 2010

Christmas Cards C

Victorian Christmas Card
Image courtesy: Time Travel

Since autumn is the time of the year we all start to think about the coming of Christmas I thought to take a little break from the manuscript each Friday and take the chance to include some of the more famous modern illustrations of St. Nicholas both as himself and in the guise of those jolly old gift-givers, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, etc. Even though the work which I am presenting in this blog, St. Nicholas and Christmas, explains in depth the life and times of the real Christian, Nicholas of Myra, and the real reason the 3rd and 4th c Bishop of Myra is so closely associated with Christmas, it doesn't mean that the modern images of the mythical characters he inspired have to be ignored; they only have to be shown in light of the real man. They are whimsical and part of our modern history and were never intended to make people forget the real St. Nicholas. Personally, I just love them! 

Many years ago I came across a lovely book of illustrations called, An Old-Fashioned Christmas In Illustration and Decoration (Edited by Clarence P. Hornung) which I recommend to all who have an affinity for all things pertaining to St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Christmas.

"The Coming of Santa Claus" by Thomas Nast 1872
(Edited by Clarence P. Hornung) 

The above is one of my personal favorites. Note how the first thing Nast's Santa does is to greet the dogs and the cats. His hand is even upon the muzzle of one adoring dog! So sweet; a beautiful modern work of art.

Merry Old Santa Claus 
Thomas Nast
Harper's Weekly January 1, 1881
Image courtesy: Thomas Nast: The Man who Designed Santa Claus

And this drawing of Nast's Merry old Santa Claus is a happiness-giving classic.

Thanks for permitting me this interlude - I promise to return each Monday and Wednesday with two more postings from my book, St. Nicholas and Christmas!
Let me take the chance here though to thank you all for your generous comments and emails and for following along with me on this journey into the life and times of the real Bishop of Myra. You really make my day!

P.S. Please let me know if there are any drawings or cards you would like to see represented in my "Friday's Interlude" sections during this run up period to the Christmas Season! I'd love to include them. Also, I'd love to hear how "Santa Claus" and St. Nicholas are actually called in your country (I'll link it to your site!). Books and articles on Santa Claus give names but often, I have found that they are quite different from actual use. 


Purses Pastries Etc... said...

I LOVE these! I've definitely seen the 3rd image before and it's one of my favorites... they all are actually. But then again, is there a single image of "Santa" that doesn't make young and old feel all warm, cozy and excited?? Just a little over 2 months till Christmas now... yikes! This "Interlude" is a fun idea :)

Jazzi said...

Hi Jazzi here~~Nice to meet you and have you become a follower. I will follow you too and learn about what you know about ok??


GrandmaK said...

I do so love old pictures of the Gentleman. Have a grand weekend! Cathy

Madi and Mom said...

Good morning Ann,
Thank you for this very inspiring post....Christmas is my favorite holiday...people seem kinder during the holiday season.

I enjoyed reading about your Dad posting your cards from North Pole, AK
Madi and Mom

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Ann, Wow--what a neat blog... Thanks for visiting me. I hope you come back often...As you know, we both love history --and I also love Chirstian history (since I am a retired minister in the United Methodist Church)...

I love Christmas --but it comes WAY too early and is much to commercialized. We are losing Thanksgiving because of all of the Christmas Hype.... I enjoy finding alternate ways to celebrate Christmas...

Thanks again for visiting.

mle said...

Hi Ann! thrilled you stopped by today & am looking forward to joining you in your St. Nicholas history journey!! Lovely pictures!
happy friday

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Hi Ann. Thanks so much for your many visits and comments. Those pictures are lovely and I always aim to decorate the house in a more Victorian rather than modern style for Christmas - and always with a real tree (never, ever plastic, yuk).

Sorry about your dog, I know how hard it is to lose a pet and a dog is a real companion, I hope you find a lovely one soon - or you might really have to knit one ;-)

Oh, just to answer one of your questions: our last home was also in London, we just had to move since our landlord had decided to sell the house...that's it :-) Have a lovely weekend, Love from London x

Mimi said...

Enjoy your weekend, and great photos.

Lyn said...

Ann if you pop over to the Gutenberg Project there is a lovely illustration of A night before Chrristmas. I have tried to add a link here.
It's a pretty illustration, he looks a little bit gnome like though!

Tatum said...

Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog. I must say I am rather intrigued by yours and am looking forward to learning more. I love Christmas!

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

I must admit that Nast's illustrations represent my childhood recollection of the jolly fellow. Impish in nature, rotund in size, toys of the homemade type in hand I believe he is the image we envision every year in our memories.
Each year though I do look forward to finding an older copy of The Night Before Christmas to add to my collection.

Anonymous said...

Very nice subject. Interesting photos as well!

Terri Tiffany said...

Hi Ann,
thank you for stopping by my blog this week and introducing yourself! You sure know your information here. Wow!! Have a good weekend!

Krystal said...

Oh girl, I am in love with the Swiss Santa Claus - samichlaus and his sidekicks, the schmutzli's (they are creepy!) you might find them interesting - i experience them for the first time last year here in switzerland and was just mesmerized :)

chelsea said...

Ann! Your blog is great! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been swallowed up by work! Looking forward to reading more:)

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Ann,
So nice to meet you and I am going to be your newest follower!!! Have a blessed Sunday!

Terry said...

Hi Ann, Thank you so much for visiting me and leaving such a kind comment! I have to say, that I love the work on your blog! It is amazing! Have a wonderful Sunday and I am following you!

Celestial Charms said...

Hi Ann,
Your blog is amazing. What wonderful subject matter. I'm so looking forward to learning as much as I can about this endearing individual's life. Now I will have the pleasure of reading your previous posts. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

vicki archer said...

What beautiful cards and such fascinating history Ann.....xv

Stacey said...

Love, love Christmas and these cards are so unique too! XX

Hilary said...

Lovely. This is an interesting blog concept you have here.

Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog today. Very much appreciated.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Father Christmas is always portrayed with a very round middle, it always makes me smile!

Hugs Jane