christmas myths legends, and shoes for mama
For those of you who commented or emailed that the modern image of Santa Claus was created by Coca-Cola as a marketing tool, please be advised that you are, as I stated previously, wrong.
This legend is not true. Although some versions of the Santa Claus figure still had him attired in various colors of outfits past the beginning of the 20th century, the jolly, ruddy, sack-carrying Santa with a red suit and flowing white whiskers had become the standard image of Santa Claus by the 1920s, several years before Sundlom drew his first Santa illustration for Coca-Cola. As The New York Times reported on 27 November 1927:A standardized Santa Claus appears to New York children. Height, weight, stature are almost exactly standardized, as are the red garments, the hood and the white whiskers. The pack full of toys, ruddy cheeks and nose, bushy eyebrows and a jolly, paunchy effect are also inevitable parts of the requisite make-up.
There you have it.
While we are on the subject of Christmas myths and legends, let's -with the help of the ever-reliable Snopes - debunk a few before they make the rounds again:
A man attempted to surprise his family by dressing up as Santa Claus and entered the house by sliding down the chimney. He got stuck, died, and was discovered by his family after they lit a fire in the fireplace.
That one only happened in Phoebe Cates's award-worthy scene in Gremlins.
And some things that are true are hard to believe, like the fact that this song actually became a hit last Christmas:
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight
Although some of you may remember the story of - who else - DJ and his misunderstanding those lyrics:
So Natalie comes home from school today singing this song. The song is wrong in and of itself. The main lyric is "if momma meets jesus tonight." It's way too sappy, way too depressing and just...wrong. If momma meets jesus tonight.
Now, you know how people sometimes mishear lyrics? And they sing the wrong lyrics so openly, so righteously, because they think that's the way the lyrics go, no matter how bizarre it makes the song? So we were sitting in a restaurant tonight, eating dinner, having a pleasant family meal, when DJ starts singing at the top of his lungs:
What if momma eats jesus tonight....
I didn't stop him.
What if momma eats jesus tonightYes, I know. I'm going to hell.
At least I'll be laughing.