santa claus

All posts tagged santa claus

Santa Claus’s Creator Was a New Jersey Resident

Published January 21, 2013 by Maryanne

Santa ClausSanta Claus drawing by Thomas Nast

Yes, Santa Claus — the modern, most popular version as we know him, fat and jolly — was created by artist Thomas Nast, a German born American lived in Morristown, New Jersey, moving there with his family in 1870. (Which is across the street from the Macculloch Hall Museum. I went there yesterday for the second time and it’s just amazing!)

In addition to drawing Santa Claus, Thomas Nast was also famous for his political cartoons which were featured in Harper’s Weekly.

One cartoon that I’m especially intrigued with is his portrayal of Victoria Woodhull, an American leader of the woman’s suffrage movement.

Free loveThomas Nast drawing of Victoria Woodhull

Woodhull was an advocate of “free love” (freedom to marry, divorce and bear children without interference from the government). She was also into spiritualism and vegetarianism.

She was the first woman to start a weekly newspaper; an activist for women’s rights and labor reforms. In 1872, she was the first female candidate for President of the United States.

Pretty mind-blowing for the 1800s, right? This woman is one of my heroes!

But all these great ideas were considered controversial for the time, therefore some considered her satanic, as depicted in the above drawing by Thomas Nast.

Here is more information on the Macculloch Hall Historic Museum in Morristown, New Jersey (and if you visit, you’ll see the home Thomas Nast lived in, right across the street, but it’s private property for a resident, not open to the public): http://www.maccullochhall.org/

Thomas Nast homeThomas Nast home (photo swiped from Google)

Symbolism of Deer and Christmas Magic

Published December 23, 2012 by Maryanne

Christmas deerPhoto swiped from Google search

For most of my adult life I’ve been lucky to live near wooded areas where deer roam freely. I’ve always thought of deer as beautiful, elegant creatures. The deer spirit represents peace and adventure.

Without fail, every Christmas season that I am alone with my husband somewhere, a deer magically appears out of nowhere. Last night we were simply shopping for our holiday party and a deer crossed our path.

Our first Christmas deer appeared to us when we first started dating, after a Christmas party. We spotted a small deer in a wooded area, stopped the car and admired the sight.

I started softly singing, “There’s Always Tomorrow (for dreams to come true)” — the song that Clarice sang to Rudolph in “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

Clarice and Rudolph“I think it’s a lovely nose!”

Then I realized I am singing to a professional musician — off key — so I stopped singing.

“Keep singing!” Dennis encouraged.

And, to me, that was the magic of our first Christmas; having someone love me unconditionally, including my off-key singing. From that moment on I always sang to Dennis. And I am getting better. Sometimes he’ll even say, “Very good!”

It’s a beautiful, peaceful feeling to fall in love with someone who loves you just as you are, and to share your adventures with, which is probably why Santa sends us his magic each Christmas in the form of a deer spirit.

Watch for signs that Santa is sending to YOU!

People from all over the world believe in Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas.

When you believe, his magic will appear — sometimes out of nowhere!

Thomas Nast Santa

Drawing by Thomas Nast

To Pee or Not to Pee?

Published December 4, 2012 by Maryanne

santa_peeHoliday Decoration (swiped from Google search)

I’d like to know what readers think of the above Holiday decoration. Someone had this controversial holiday decoration in our neighborhood and personally I don’t like it.

When I think of Christmas, I think of children and innocence. How could they do this to Santa Claus?

Maybe this would be funny if I saw it in a movie, but not on display in a family neighborhood — with Snoopy and Rudolph and Frosty across the street. Kinda sacrilege, no?

I guess someone else didn’t like it either because today I noticed that the steam of pee was no longer coming from Santa’s lower region, but from his hand (maybe someone gave Santa a water gun).

So what do you think? Just for fun, you can share your thoughts below or take my poll or both. I’m not going to debate anyone’s opinion, I just want to read different views. It will be interesting to me.

An Afternoon in Sommerville

Published November 26, 2012 by Maryanne

One of my favorite places to go with my husband on a Sunday afternoon is New Jersey’s historic town of Somerville. Check out  the official website: http://www.somervillenj.org/

Yesterday was a perfect winter day. Cold, but sunny. The kind of day you could run around all over the place, from store to store and feel the cool wind on your face. Delightful.

Somerville is gorgeous, much more scenic and prettier than shopping in a mall. There is one area where they recently closed off the street and made it all about shopping. No chain stores, just all unique mom and pop places — with great service.

There are quite a few antique shops, shops for rock ‘n’ roll clothing, comic book stores, etc.

My score for the day was an official vintage Christmas dress! I will show photos of me wearing it after Christmas Day, but until then I want it to be a surprise!

The story behind my vintage Christmas dress is that it was brought into an antique shop, along with another dress. Both dresses were hand made and worn by two ladies who are now in their 90s!

The dress, a size 4 or 6,  fit beautifully — maybe a tad too big, which is perfect for Christmas eating. Ha!

I am beyond ecstatic! The shop owner and my husband both said I looked “adorable.”

While my husband would like to see me wearing my Steve Madden black dressy flats with the dress, I think I’ll opt for my new winter boots instead, to punk it up a bit.

My husband found a few vintage holiday decorations, like an old Santa that lights up, similar to this one:

And we also found a talking baby Rudolph, with a nose that lights up and he says, “Mama” “Papa” and “Santa.”

My husband wanted to buy it for me, but trust me, we already have enough Rudolph in the house!

As the day came to an end, we were happy to come home and snuggle with our kitties.

That is what winter is all about, short days with a helluva lot of fun squeezed in!