It’s hard to believe that Santa Claus has not always looked like the jolly St. Nick we have come to know and love today. And some of you will find it more incredible to discover that we owe this version of the man of the hour to Haddon Sundblom, a Michigan-born illustrator commissioned by Coca-Cola in 1931 to come up with a marketing campaign to sell more soft drinks during the Holidays. Mr. Sundblom turned to Clement Moore’s classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) for inspiration. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Here is another famous illustration of Coca-Cola Santa by none other than Norman Rockwell himself.