A Very 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.

From the Christmas Vault:

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?

Who can forget when Fox newscaster Megyn Kelly not only confirmed that Santa was white but on the same 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 christmas coke ad

“I’ve Got a Secret” Vintage Christmas Coke ad 1948

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”


xmas men van heusen SWScan08289

Honest Santa! Vintage ad Van Heusen Shirt for Christmas 1951


Vintage photo Santa Clause leaving gifts under Xmas tree

Universally portrayed Santa. Vintage Christmas ad Universal kitchen appliances 1949


bintage ad illustration Santa carrying a bag of encyclopedias

Is Santa real? Asked and answered! Vintage Christmas ad World Book Encyclopedia 1954


vintage illustration Santa children 1940s family

A White Christmas Dream  – Vintage Christmas ad Plymouth cars 1949

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.

Color Me Tolerant

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, 2015. 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.



  1. You just gave me a bright idea for a new novel. It will be a sequel to the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books. It will be called “The Fifty Shades of Santa”. It will be the story of what Santa and the Mrs. do on those other 364 days of the year when he isn’t working. It will open with:
    “Welcome, my dear, to Santa’s workshop,” the jolly old elf said with glee in his eyes.

    I can have it ready for the holiday shopping season next year. What do you think?


  2. Heh. The only time I’d EVER seen Jesus looking anything like he (He) should’ve was in the Children’s Bibles the Jehovah’s Witnesses gave out. (Good reading, even if you aren’t a believer!) Nary a Kirk Douglas/William Shatner-looking Jesus among them!

    As for Santa Claus, I can’t remember a time that I’d even think he was real, but as a smart-aleck kid, I asked my mother what color Santa Claus was–her answer?
    “He’s Jewish (my father’s boss) and Native American and black! (my parents)” I always thought that was a good answer for kids who wondered why Santa was Asian, black, white, (or in the case of my piano teacher one year) black, white and Jewish!


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