3 Days of Santa! Day 3: Norman Rockwell 1927

1927 Norman+Rockwell+Santa+Sat.+Post
ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR SANTA

Norman Rockwell, one of America's foremost illustrators, created this for a 1927 cover for the Saturday Evening Post. In it, one very lucky little boy has his undivided attention. Sant'as omnipotence is envisioned in this child's eyes, and I'm guessing many who are his age: you'd have to be a giant to cover the world in gifts, all in one night, right?

 That was a very busy year overall. In fact, on:

April 1 – U.S. Bureau of Prohibition founded (under Department of the Treasury)
April 7Bell Telephone Co. transmits an image of Herbert Hoover (then the Secretary of Commerce), which becomes the first successful long distance demonstration of television.

April 12: The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 renames the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The change acknowledges that the Irish Free State is no longer part of the Kingdom.

May 20May 21Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight, from New York City to Paris in his single-seat, single-engine monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

July 1 – The Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration (FDIA) is established.

August 1 – The Communist Chinese People's Liberation Army is formed during the Nanchang Uprising.

August 10 – The Mount Rushmore Park is rededicated. President Calvin Coolidge promises national funding for the proposed carving of the Presidential figures.

August 23Sacco and Vanzetti are executed.

 

A LITTLE HISTORY ON SANTA…

The notion of a jolly ol' elf dropping in through our fireplaces on Christmas Eve with gifts for all good little boys and girls (they are all good, though, aren't they?) wasn't universal until the 1820s, when Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" caught the imagination of the American public.

A century later, America's most famous Illustrator, Noman Rockwell, gave this nonsecular — and already very commercial — character his iconic look. His commissioned works graced the pages of numerous magazines, including Boys' Life, Look, Popular Science, Life, and Time — not to mention his numerous covers for the Saturday Evening Post.

Is Norman Rockwell's iconic Santa the Ghost of Christmas Past?

Rockwell's art will always be a part of our collective memories regarding holiday cheer. But in a time of fear, where does Santa fit in?

Unfortunately, this year Christmas will be a bittersweet experience for too many of us. The economy still sucks, so we can't really blame our local stores for putting out the Christmas displays even before the Halloween costumes were pulled from their aisles. A third of their revenue comes through the door this month.

I will always love Rockwell's renditions of The-Man-Formerly-Known-As-Jolly St. Nick. It is probably my very first brush with art appreciation. What child can say otherwise?

But if the image of Santa standing by a Christmas tree bring out the Pavlovian response to buy buy buy, resist it. The truth is this: we can't spend our way out of a recession. The burdon of personal debt has to be weighed with the urge to put a little something under the tree for our loved ones.

Here's a thought: Forget the cashmere sweater, the latest and greatest eReader, or that non-descript gift card. Instead, tell them what the mean to you.

Find the words, open your mouth and say it.

Or write it down so that they have a lifelong keepsake. The notes I've kept from my long-departed loved ones mean more to me than what they left me under the tree, most of which is now long gone.

I've been up uplinking a different Norman Rockwell Santa, starting with–

Day 1: Norman Rockwell Santa from 1926

Day 2: Norman Rockwell Santa from 1921

 Have a happy holiday,

 – Josie

(c) 2011 Josie Brown. All rights reserved.

 

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