The idea of Santa Claus seems too good to be true.
Santa Claus is a popular figure over Christmas festivities and has a specific appearance we are accustomed to. The same way, in a fact-check by Piga Firimbi here, Jesus has always looked a certain type of way and this would be hard to shake off.
Coca-Cola acknowledges that it did not invent Santa Claus. In fact, the existence of Santa Claus predates that of the Coca-Cola company. Neither does he wear red because he is associated with Coca-Cola. The company did however popularise the idea of a ‘larger than life’ jolly, Santa Claus through its marketing.
“Prior to this, Santa had been portrayed in a variety of ways throughout history: tall and gaunt; short and elfin; distinguished and intellectual; even downright frightening,” reads a Coca-Cola company post.
The company commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom, to paint Santa for its Christmas advertisements. The new and refurbished Santa would have rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes and laughter lines.
“This grandfather-style Coca‑Cola Santa captivated the public and, as our adverts spread globally, the perception of the North Pole’s most-famous resident changed forever.”
The origin of Santa Claus can be traced back to the existence of Saint Nikolaos of Myra – now called Turkey. He went around helping the poor and sick. According to History, the name Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas’ Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas. He died on December 6 and countries such as The Netherlands celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day every December 5, when kids are gifted by the ‘Sinterklaas’ based on their good behavior.
YES, Santa Claus is a real person.