Dreaming of a White Christmas

vintage illustration Xmas Santa Jesus

A Couple of White Dudes
(L) Vintage Coca Cola Ad Xmas Santa 1952 (R) Vintage Illustration of Jesus from “New Catholic Picture Bible” 1964 Catholic Book Publishing Co.

50 Shades of Santa

The great debate recently about the color of Santa makes me wonder- if that all time Christmas classic  “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” could be written by a Irving Berlin, a Jew, who’s to say what color Santa actually is?

I say why not 50 shades of Santa?

Last week, newscaster Megyn Kelly not only confirmed that Santa was white but on the same Fox show she announced “Jesus was a white man too…I mean, he was an historical figure, that was a verifiable fact, as is Santa…I just wanted the kids watching to know that.”

Verified by who? Coca Cola?

vintage illustration Santa and children

(L) Vintage ad Plymouth 1949 (R) Vintage illustration 1941

Spoiler alert- Santa isn’t real!

This historical figure  is a figure of our imagination, commercialized by the Mad Men of Madison Avenue for generations to hawk products ranging from kitchen ware to toys.

xmas santa clause with Uncle Sam hat on

A Red White and Blue Santa…”For the Best Gifts of All…..From the Best Santa of All”
This 1953 vintage ad from the American Toy Institute exclaimed:”Give American Toys”

The debate was sparked off by a Slate.com piece opining that perhaps Santa shouldn’t be portrayed merely as a white man anymore.

Given the diversity of our country it’s not unreasonable.

Jesus Christ Superstar

illustrations Jesus Christ

Is it true Blondes have more fun?
A decidedly blonde Jesus in illustrations from vintage children’s book “New Catholic Picture Bible” 1964 catholic Book Publishers Co.

As far as that other historical figure, Jesus Christ, his oft time portrayal as a blue-eyed blonde is as fictitious as jolly old Santa, white or black.

It is quite doubtful that Jesus looked like he was of Nordic descent.

Jesus was born to a Jewish family in the Middle East, and most scholars agree that he most likely looked like what folks of  Middle Eastern decent look like.

Not Aryan

Perhaps the best solution to that would be to color Jesus in whatever color you wish and everyone will be happy.

 Jesus Coloring Book Illustrations

Color Me Tolerant
“The Bible Coloring Book” 1985 Playmore Inc and Waldman Publishing

 © Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You Might Also Enjoy

Santa Claus and Coke


  1. Pingback: Santa Claus and Coke. | Envisioning The American Dream

  2. Pingback: Santa’s Heart Healthy Holiday… Ho Ho Ho | Envisioning The American Dream

  3. Pingback: Santa Takes Sides | Envisioning The American Dream

  4. Pingback: Coke & American Diversity-It’s the Real Thing | Envisioning The American Dream

  5. Pingback: Santa Claus for a Cause | Envisioning The American Dream

  6. Nick

    The first pic is really interesting, perhaps unintended juxtaposition. Coca Cola describes itself as ‘the gift for thirst’. Placed alongside Jesus, who described Himself to the Samaritan woman as “I am the living water, whoever comes to me / drinks from me shall never thirst again”, it shows the stark contrast between the ultimately unsatisfying nature of American ‘dream’ commercialism, and the ‘peace beyond all description’ that comes from friendship with Jesus Christ. As to what ‘colour’ was Jesus? I think you’re right in a sense he was whatever colour you want him to be, as Jesus makes himself available to everyone at their level and from their cultural perspective, though Jesus the historical man was a middle eastern Jew. As for Santa Claus? “Santa Claus” is derived from the Dutch ‘Siinter ‘Klaus’ which can be translated as ‘Saint Nicholas’ (‘Klaus’ being the dimunitive form of ‘Nicholas’ in Dutch and German). The original figure for Santa Claus was thus the historically real person of Saint Nicholas, a bishop in what is now called Turkey, but was then called Asia Minor. In some countries he is not dressed in red coat with white fur trim, but with a bishops tall hat, closer to his historical origins. This Saint Nicholas was known for his secretive generosity, helping the poorest in need with his own finances. Thanks for the post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: