Although many credit our modern day Santa to Thomas Nast, Santa’s jolly look all started in 1931 with Haddon Sundblom and Coca-Cola.
Legendary illustrator Haddon Sundblom created the rosy-cheeked figure â€“ today’s traditionally accepted appearance of the jolly old elf â€“ in 1931 for a Coke holiday advertising campaign. Since that time, the Coca-Cola Santa has become one of the most beloved cultural icons and an anticipated part of holiday tradition.
My hat's off to the pause that refreshes 1931
It will refresh you too 1932
Away with a tired thirsty face 1933
It will refresh you too 1935
The 1936 Coca-Cola Santa Claus painting shows Santa playing with the toys he has delivered.
This cardboard store display based on the 1937 original painting shows Santa Claus raiding the refrigerator.
The 1938 Coca-Cola Santa Claus artwork marked the first appearance of a child with Santa.
Somebody knew I was coming 1940
In the 1941 Coca-Cola holiday advertising, Santa relaxes next to a cooler typical of the time.
Coca-Cola Santa Claus 1942
Coca-Cola Santa Claus 1947
In the 1949 Coca-Cola Santa Claus artwork, Santa appears with another character created by artist Haddon Sundblom - Sprite Boy.