Santa’s Heart Healthy Holiday… Ho Ho Ho

xmas ad Santa smoking


With his overweight girth, penchant for candy, coffee and cigarettes, it’s a Christmas miracle that twinkly-eyed Santa is still around to make his Christmas deliveries. One only hopes there’s a Cardiac Care unit in the North Pole.

To believe the mid-century advertisements,  Santa’s prodigious sweet tooth was only surpassed by his capacity to chain smoke endless cigarettes and down copious cups of caffeine.

xmas smoking santa ad

A Smokin’ Santa

With all those billions of presents to deliver on time across the globe, poor Santa’s nerves were sorely tested.

Reading all those billions of lists, checking then twice could fray on anyone’s nerves. Jolly Santa could get quite testy,

As any elf could tell you, nothing could calm those holiday jitters better than a cigarette. Medically approved to help your disposition, cigarettes were regularly suggested by doctors in all branches of medicine to ease tensions in our fast paced world.

xmas smoking Santa ad 1940s

Vintage Xmas cigarette ad Camels & Prince Albert Tobacco 1949

“It’s a psychological fact: pleasure helps your disposition.” Camels cigarettes claimed in their ads.”Ever yip like a terrier when things go wrong? That’s only natural. But it’s a psychological fact that pleasure helps your disposition! That’s why everyday pleasure-like smoking for instance- means so much. So if you’re a smoker its important to smoke the most pleasure-giving cigarette camel.”

And not just a hurry up puff, but smoke after smoke of soothing comfort.

If Santa stole a puff or two now and then, who could blame him?

Living under the constant cold war conditions of possible nuclear attack, mid-century Americans relied on the calming comfort of cigarettes.

A carton of cigarettes was number one on Americans wish list for Christmas. What better way to say Happy Holidays, Here’s to your Health! than as carton or two of smokes. Cigarettes, the gift you can give with confidence.

Xmas smoking ad Santa Claus 1950s

Vintage Xmas ad Old Gold Cigarettes 1952

xmas smoking ad Santa 1940s

Vintage Xmas Ad Camels & Prince Albert Tobacco 1943

Xmas ad smoking lighter Santa 1940s

Vintage Ad Ronson Lighter Santa Lights Up 1948

xmas smoking camelsad Santa

Vintage Xmas Ad Camels Cigarettes 1951

Candy is Dandy

xmas candy ad Santa

Vintage Xmas Ad Whitman’s Chocolates 1949

It wouldn’t be Xmas with out candy.

Not only was it a Christmas tradition to give a hefty 3 pound box of chocolate pleasure to those at the top of our list, Santa made sure he kept plenty of brimming bowls of hard candies and chocolates around the home and  the workshop .

Santa xmas candy ad 1950s

Vintage Xmas Candy Ad Brach’s 1952

North Pole Productions

The huge production operation at Santa’s North Pole workshop rivaled the defense plant at Willow Run during WWII in its stupendous output. Santa and his industrious elves were working 24/7. Engineers, designers, and production experts at the North Pole were hard at work secretly designing the newest and biggest toys.

There could be no let up till the job was done. And back of it all, Santa guided, coordinated, and applied pressure where needed.

Since overseeing the toy making in his workshop was  an all day- all night operation, fatigue could set in mighty early.

The secret to their success….sugar, natures healthy fuel.

That’s why Santa made sure he and all his elves had all the sugary sweets they needed while they worked.

Call it pick up or call it pep-up. Or call it plain energy. “The Crave for candy is a call for energy,”  the Council on Candy of the National Confectioners Association  explained to the public in a series of post-war advertising.

When you have that crave for candy whether you’re shopping or making toys your body is saying “I need fuel, I’m running short on power ”

vintage candy ads 1946

Vintage Candy ads The Council on Candy of the National Confectioners Association 1940s

Smart Santa took the advice offered by the Council on Candy in this 1946 ad:

“Wholesome Candy is a great top off to the workers lunch because it’s a great energy provider.”

“And in between working hours is a good time to take on the energy for the job ahead. Yes- candy cheerful as it is in the eating, is a serious food. It provides fuel quick – quick energy…can do. You like candy for what it is; your body appreciates candy for what it offers.”

“We’ve learned a lot new about nutrition during the past few years. Candy’s  important place in feeding our men during the past war is one indication of that modern knowledge. And aren’t we glad that something so useful to our bodies is so pleasant to our tastes “

Of course the important nutrition in candy was healthful, wholesome sugar, packed full of goodness.

xmas soda ads with Santa

(L)Vintage Xmas Coca Cola Ad 1949 (R) Vintage Xmas 7 Up ad 1949

Santa also stocked up on plenty of sweet sugary drinks to give that sugar rush a boost.

As one ad for Coca Cola explained it: “Supposing you were old Santa Claus. What a job you’d have. Chimneys waiting everywhere…youngsters gifts to be checked. The job certainly calls for that extra something. You’d get tired and thirsty too. You’d want that extra something. You’d find refreshment going quickly into energy. You’d be ready to shout “Ho Prancer, Ho Vixen….”

xmas coffee kitchen santa 1950s

A Cup of Christmas Joe

Hmmm! Nothing smells as good as coffee.  Happy interruption. Keeps your mind sharp, alert. The smell of fragrant fresh brewed coffee carried through Santa’s workshop. No wonder the elves come -a running. Who can resist coffee’s cheery aroma, so tempting so full of promise.

That’s why Mrs Claus always kept a pot brewing up at the North pole.

She knew Santa needed to be on his toes….there were an awful lot of people to remember who was naughty or nice. Coffee kept Santa on the ball.

Without the helping hand of Fed Ex, Santa needed some help making those all night global  deliveries. Just like a jet pilot needed to be alert, so Santa needed the jolt he could count on from caffeine to get him through the long night.

When you’re on the open road , whether car or sleigh, Santa was wise to remember the safety slogan “Give yourself a coffee stop, for cup after cup of energy.”

The Pan American Coffee Producers ran a series of ads extolling the virtues of coffee as a beverage to drink any time of day or night and Santa was a perfect spokesman.

“Santa was  right to break the fatigue and monotony of his long cold route with  a second and third cup of hot coffee”, they reassured us.” For science says coffee relieves fatigue, actually rests you when tired and makes your mind alert and clear.”

Xmas coffee ad Santa

Vintage Xmas Coffee Ad 1940 Pan American Coffee Producers . Illustration by JC Leyendecker


Merry Xmas to All and to all a Good Night

In this 1940 advertisement   published by the Pan American Coffee Producers for the benefit of the American Public, Santa needn’t worry about falling asleep on the job.

“Most people know there is good cheer in a cup of coffee.”

“For sound scientific reasons, it brightens conversation, makes mind and muscles more alert-lifts up the spirits  when you’re tired.”

“Industry recognizes the fact in factories the country over, by having “time out for coffee” in mid-morning and afternoon-finding a definite improvement in efficiency through it.”

“But what many people do not know is that they can enjoy coffee in the evening, and also enjoy  a good nights sleep. The reason is, if you’re like 97 out of 100 other folks the lift you get from coffee lasts only 2 hours. You can drink a fragrant cup of coffee whenever you want it- morning, noon and night- without worry over sleeping.”

“So when you feel the urge for a cup of coffee it isn’t only to give rich satisfaction to your taste-“the gentle lift” you get is good for you.

“That’s why cheering, heart warming coffee chimes in with Santa, and says-“to all a good night.”

xmas coffee ad Mr & Mrs Santa Claus

Vintage Xmas Coffee Ad Pan American Coffee Producers 1952

“Think Better! At the North Pole Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa plan the biggest Xmas list in the world…and give themselves a coffee break!” So begins this 1953  Pan American  Coffee Bureau ad.

“Work better…Santa’s elves load up the sleigh…and take a coffee break.”

“Whenever you have a problem…have a cup of fragrant coffee! The pleasant lift helps keep your mind alert. When you want an aid to clear thinking better take a coffee break.”

“Coffee’s gentle stimulation helps you do a better job have more fun when you take a coffee break.”

© 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.

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  1. Pingback: A Merry Christmas | Envisioning The American Dream

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