Antiquarian Society Exhibitions

Christmas Through
the Years


Evolution of Santa Claus

Before the 1820's, the image of Santa Claus was of a slim man who gave out gifts, but who was not always associated with Christmas Eve. As the depiction in A Visit from St. Nicholas became more widely known, the plump figure of Santa slipping down the chimney on Christmas Eve that we are now familiar with became more associated with the Christmas tradition.

Santa Claus quadrilles
Cover of Harvey B. Dodworth's music score, Santa Claus quadrilles, printed by G. & W. Endicott, ca. 1846.

Advertisement for J. Samuels & Co. New England Boot & Shoe House, Meriden, Conn., ca. 1880

Snowflakes from Santa's land
Advertisement for books, Snowflakes from Santa's land, ca. 1876.




Origins of
Celebrating Christmas Evolution of
Santa Claus Twas the Night Before
Christmas Santa's
Reindeer The Traditional
Christmas Tree


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Last updated December 18, 2000

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