Mrs. Claus (also known as Mrs Santa Claus) is the wife of Santa Claus, the Christmas gift-bringer in American and European Christmas tradition. She is known for making cookies with the elves, caring for the reindeer, and preparing toys with her husband.
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day. The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas. Some maintain Santa Claus also absorbed elements of the Germanic god Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
A number of Midwinter or Christmas traditions in European folklore involve gift-bringers. Mostly involving the figure of a bearded old man, the traditions have mutually influenced one another, and have adopted aspects from Christian hagiography, even before the modern period. In Slavic countries, the figure is mostly Father Frost. In Scandinavia, it is an elf-like figure or tomten who comes at Yule . In Western Europe, the figure was also similar to an elf, developing into Father Christmas in the modern period in Great Britain. In German-speaking Europe and Latin Europe, it became associated with the Christian Saint Nicholas.
The wife of Santa Claus is first mentioned in the short story "A Christmas Legend" (1849), by James Rees, a Philadelphia-based Christian missionary.In the story, an old man and woman, both carrying a bundle on the back, are given shelter in a home on Christmas Eve as weary travelers. The next morning, the children of the house find an abundance of gifts for them, and the couple is revealed to be not "old Santa Claus and his wife", but the hosts' long-lost elder daughter and her husband in disguise.
James Rees was an American author, playwright, and editor.
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send". The word was used in light of its biblical usage; in the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach The gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology.
Mrs. Santa Claus is mentioned by name in the pages of the Yale Literary Magazine in 1851, where the student author (whose name is given only as "A. B.") writes of the appearance of Santa Claus at a Christmas party:
The Yale Literary Magazine, founded in 1836, is the oldest literary magazine in the United States and publishes poetry and fiction by Yale undergraduates twice per academic year.
An account of a Christmas musicale at the State Lunatic Asylum in Utica, New York in 1854 included an appearance by Mrs. Santa Claus, with baby in arms, who danced to a holiday song.
Utica is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The tenth-most-populous city in New York, its population was 62,235 in the 2010 U.S. census. Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is approximately 95 miles northwest of Albany, 55 mi (89 km) east of Syracuse and 240 mi (386 km) northwest of New York City. Utica and the nearby city of Rome anchor the Utica–Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area, which comprises all of Oneida and Herkimer counties.
A passing references to Mrs. Santa Claus was made in an essay in Harper's Magazine in 1862;and in the comic novel The Metropolites (1864) by Robert St. Clar, she appears in a woman's dream, wearing "Hessian high boots, a dozen of short, red petticoats, an old, large, straw bonnet" and bringing the woman a wide selection of finery to wear.
Harper's Magazine is a monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts. Launched in June 1850, it is the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S.. Harper's Magazine has won 22 National Magazine Awards.
The Hessian is a style of light boot that became popular from the beginning of the 19th century.
A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing, a type of undergarment worn under a skirt or a dress. Its precise meaning varies over centuries and between countries.
A woman who may or may not be Mrs. Santa Claus appeared in the children's book Lill in Santa Claus Land and Other Stories by Ellis Towne, Sophie May and Ella Farman, published in Boston in 1878. In the story, little Lill describes her imaginary visit to Santa's office (not in the Arctic, incidentally):
Rebecca Sophia Clarke, also known as Sophie May, was an American author of children's fiction. Using her nieces and nephews as inspiration, she wrote realistic stories about children. Between 1860 and 1903, she wrote 45 books between 1860 and 1903, the most popular being the Little Prudy series. She spent most of her life in her native town of Norridgewock, Maine.
Eliza Anna Farman Pratt was an American writer of children's literature.
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States, and the 21st most populous city in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.
Later, Lill's sister Effie ponders the tale:
Much as in The Metropolites, Mrs. Santa Claus appears in a dream of the author E. C. Gardner in his article "A Hickory Back-Log" in Good Housekeeping magazine (1887), with an even more detailed description of her dress:
Mrs. Claus proceeds to instruct the architect Gardner on the ideal modern kitchen, a plan of which he includes in the article.
Santa Claus' wife made her most active appearance yet by Katharine Lee Bates in her poem "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride" (1889)."Goody" is short for "Goodwife", i.e., "Mrs."
In Bates' poem, Mrs. Claus wheedles a Christmas Eve sleigh-ride from a reluctant Santa in recompense for tending their toy and bonbon laden Christmas trees, their Thanksgiving turkeys, and their "rainbow chickens" that lay Easter eggs. Once away, Mrs. Claus steadies the reindeer while Santa goes about his work descending chimneys to deliver gifts. She begs Santa to permit her to descend a chimney. Santa grudingly grants her request and she descends a chimney to mend a poor child's tattered stocking and to fill it with gifts. Once the task is completed, the Clauses return to their Arctic home. At the end of the poem, Mrs. Claus remarks that she is the "gladdest of the glad" because she has had her "own sweet will".
Since 1889, Mrs. Claus has been generally depicted in media as a fairly heavy-set, kindly, white-haired elderly female baking cookies somewhere in the background of the Santa Claus mythos. She sometimes assists in toy production, and oversees Santa's elves. It is worth noting that, when not portrayed as white-haired or elderly, she is often shown to have red hair. This could be because red hair is the color that most commonly fades to white with age.[ citation needed ] She is usually depicted wearing a fur dress of red or green.
Her reappearance in popular media in the 1960s began with the children's book How Mrs. Santa Claus Saved Christmas, by Phyllis McGinley. Today, Mrs. Claus is commonly seen in cartoons, on greeting cards, in knick-knacks such as Christmas tree ornaments, dolls, and salt and pepper shakers, in storybooks, in seasonal school plays and pageants, in parades, in department store "Santa Lands" as a character adjacent to the throned Santa Claus, in television programs, and live action and animated films that deal with Christmas and the world of Santa Claus. Her personality tends to be fairly consistent; she is usually seen as a calm, kind, and patient woman, often in contrast to Santa himself, who can be prone to acting too exuberant.
Mrs. Claus has appeared as a secondary character in children's books about Santa Claus and as the main character in titles about herself.
Mrs. Claus played a major role in several of Rankin/Bass' Christmas specials. In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), she is seen as pestering her husband to eat, lest he become a “skinny Santa,” and in Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (a movie that unites characters from Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman , among other Rankin/Bass Christmas specials), Santa calls her "Jessica" at one point.[ citation needed ] In Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970), she is introduced as a teacher named Jessica, who first meets Santa Claus (then known as Kris Kringle) as a young man, when he's trying to illegally deliver toys to a town run by a despotic ruler. She assists him, and thus becomes a wanted fugitive herself with Kringle and his confederates. In light of this sacrifice, Jessica and Santa soon fall in love with each other, and marry in the nearby forest. In 1974's The Year Without a Santa Claus and the 2006 live action remake, Mrs. Claus played a large role, as she attempts to show Santa (who wishes to stay home that year for Christmas when he feels no one appreciates or believes in him anymore) that there's still some Christmas spirit left in the world. Mrs. Claus also made appearances in several other Rankin/Bass specials.
The lady was also portrayed in a television musical, Mrs. Santa Claus (1996), played by Angela Lansbury, with songs by Jerry Herman. Neglected by her husband, she goes to New York in 1910, and gets involved in agitating for women's rights and against child labor in toy manufacturing. Of course, she gets to learn how "Santa misses Mrs. Claus", as the sentimental song lyrics have it. She goes by the name of Anna.
One of Mrs. Claus's most unusual television appearances is in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Christmas special Billy and Mandy Save Christmas. In this story her name is Nancy and she is a powerful vampiress who, angry that Santa leaves most of the work for her, turns him into a vampire so she can take a break (which is about the six or seventh time she's done so), when she gets the idea from Mandy to try and take over the world before Billy reconciles them. Another unusual appearance is in the Robot Chicken Christmas Special, during which, in a Dragon Ball Z parody sketch, she gains powers from the North Pole's radiation, and becomes a giant monster that Goku, Gohan, and Rudolph must destroy.
In A Charlie Brown Christmas , Charlie Brown's sister Sally writes to Santa and asks, "How is your wife?" Later, in It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown , she writes Santa's wife herself, and, when Charlie Brown comments that some people call her "Mary Christmas," Sally congratulates her on choosing to keep her own surname. In Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales , Sally writes Santa Claus as "Samantha Claus", inadvertently thinking Samantha Claus is Santa Claus's wife.
Mrs. Claus appears in A Chipmunk Christmas , where she buys Alvin a harmonica after he gives his old one to a sick boy. Her identity isn't revealed until the end, when Santa returns home and she greets him.
Boost Mobile created some controversy with an ad featuring Mrs. Claus in bed with a snowman. One version was briefly aired on late-night TV while two alternate versions were posted online.Ad Age had some commentary about the spot, including “This latest ad from Boost Mobile and agency 180, Los Angeles, features Mrs. Claus doing something very, very bad." Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly, CNN and a number of local TV news channels commented about the ads.
For 2016, British clothing and food company Marks & Spencer launched an integrated marketing campaign centered on a modern interpretation of Mrs. Claus. The campaign included a three-minute ad released on 11 November 2016 which sees Mrs. Claus receiving a letter from a seven-year-old child asking for help with a gift for his older sister, whom the boy has a difficult relationship with.
The ad depicts Mrs Claus as more modern than previous examples, with her riding a snowmobile and flying a helicopter while Santa is out delivering gifts in the traditional sleigh. At the conclusion of the ad, she says to Santa “Well it wouldn’t be fun if you knew all my secrets” suggesting she has a secret life assisting with Christmas present delivery. The brand also created a social media campaign in which Mrs. Claus answered requests and questions from members of the public.
The ad was received positively by customers and the press with many people commending the brand for taking a feminist approach to a traditional character.
The ad was directed by Academy-award winner Tom Hooper with Mrs Claus played by British actress Janet McTeer. Music was composed by Rachel Portman. The ad was created for Marks & Spencer by advertising agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, a London-based division of Young & Rubican.
In 1953 Nat King Cole had a single released, "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot", featuring on the flipside his rendition of a song, "Mrs. Santa Claus", with accompaniment by Nelson Riddle's orchestra.
In contrast to her stereotypical portrayal, Mrs. Claus is portrayed as a woman bored with her relationship with Santa Claus in the song "Surabaya-Santa" from Jason Robert Brown's musical Songs for a New World and in the Oszkars' off-color song "Mrs. Claus has a Headache Again".
In 1987, George Jones and Tammy Wynette released a single, "Mr and Mrs Santa Claus", a love song sung by Jones and Wynette as Mr. and Mrs. Claus respectively.
Bob Rivers recorded a parody of the soul song "Me and Mrs. Jones", entitled "Me and Mrs. Claus", on his 2002 album White Trash Christmas .
Bob Ricci recorded a parody of the pop hit "Stacy's Mom", entitled "Mrs. Claus".
The Santa Clause is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy family comedy film written by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, and directed by John Pasquin. The first film in the Santa Clause film series, it stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his young son, Charlie, finish St. Nick's trip and deliveries, they go to the North Pole where Scott learns that he must become the new Santa and convince those he loves that he is indeed Santa Claus.
The Santa Clause 2 is a 2002 American Christmas comedy film directed by Michael Lembeck. It is a sequel to The Santa Clause (1994) and the second installment in the Santa Clause film series. All the principal actors from the first film, including Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold, reprise their roles.
Joulupukki is a Finnish Christmas figure. The name "Joulupukki" literally means "Christmas goat" or "Yule Goat" in Finnish; the word pukki comes from the Teutonic root bock, which is a cognate of the English "buck", and means "billy-goat". An old Scandinavian custom, the figure is now being eventually conflated with Santa Claus.
Olive, the Other Reindeer is a 1999 American computer-animated Christmas television special written by Steve Young, based on the children's book by Vivian Walsh, and directed by Oscar Moore. The feature was produced by Matt Groening's The Curiosity Company and animated by DNA Productions. It first aired on December 17, 1999 on Fox, produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Flower Films. The special combines paperlike character art in 3-D environments. Sometimes, traditional animation is used. While the special would air on other local syndicated networks, the special made its first cable TV premiere on Nickelodeon in 2001. The special would then premiere the following year on Cartoon Network on December 11, 2002 and aired during each holiday season until it was last seen as late as December 24, 2012.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. and currently distributed by Universal Television. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was itself based on the poem of the same name written in 1939 by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS; the network unveiled a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005. CBS now shares rights to the special with Freeform, which acquired rights to air the special as part of its annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming stunt beginning in 2019.
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is a 1902 children's book, written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Mary Cowles Clark.
The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. The story is based on Phyllis McGinley's 1956 book of the same name. It was originally broadcast on December 10, 1974 on ABC.
Mrs. Santa Claus is a 1996 American made-for-television musical fantasy-comedy film starring Angela Lansbury in the title role as Mrs. Claus, the wife of Santa Claus. The film was billed as the first original musical written for television since Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1957. It was originally broadcast as a Hallmark Entertainment presentation on CBS on December 8, 1996.
Motion pictures featuring Santa Claus abound and apparently constitute their own subgenre of the Christmas film genre. Early films of Santa revolve around similar simple plots of Santa's Christmas Eve visit to children. In 1897, in a short film called Santa Claus Filling Stockings, Santa Claus is simply filling stockings from his pack of toys. Another film called Santa Claus and the Children was made in 1898. A year later, a film directed by George Albert Smith entitled Santa Claus was created. In this picture, Santa Claus enters the room from the fireplace and proceeds to trim the tree. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children. After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly darts at the fireplace and disappears up the chimney. Santa Claus' Visit in 1900 featured a scene with two little children kneeling at the feet of their mother and saying their prayers. The mother tucks the children snugly in bed and leaves the room. Santa Claus suddenly appears on the roof, just outside the children's bedroom window, and proceeds to enter the chimney, taking with him his bag of presents and a little hand sled for one of the children. He goes down the chimney and suddenly appears in the children's room through the fireplace. He distributes the presents and mysteriously causes the appearance of a Christmas tree laden with gifts. The scene closes with the children waking up and running to the fireplace just too late to catch him by the legs. A 1909 film by D. W. Griffith titled A Trap for Santa Claus shows children setting a trap to capture Santa Claus as he descends the chimney, but instead capture their father who abandoned them and their mother but tries to burglarize the house after he discovers that she inherited a fortune. A 29-minute 1925 silent film production titled Santa Claus, by explorer/documentarian Frank E. Kleinschmidt, filmed partly in northern Alaska, feature Santa in his workshop, visiting his Eskimo neighbors, and tending his reindeer. A year later, another movie titled Santa Claus was produced with sound on De Forest Phonofilm. Over the years, various actors have donned the red suit, including Leedham Bantock in Santa Claus (1912), Monty Woolley in Life Begins at Eight-thirty (1942), Alberto Rabagliati in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966), Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places (1983), Jan Rubes in One Magic Christmas (1985), David Huddleston in Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), Jonathan Taylor Thomas in I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998), and Ed Asner in Elf (2003). Later films about Santa vary, but can be divided into the following themes shown below.
In traditional festive legend, Santa Claus's reindeer pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The commonly cited names of the eight reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. They are based on those used in the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore, arguably the basis of the reindeers' popularity.
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion Christmas television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. The film stars Fred Astaire as the narrator S.D. Kluger, Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle / Santa Claus, Keenan Wynn as the Winter Warlock, and Paul Frees in various roles. The film tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. It is based on the hit Christmas song "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town", which was introduced on radio by Eddie Cantor in 1934, and the story of Saint Nicholas.
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July is an American Christmas/Independence Day television special produced by Rankin/Bass, featuring characters from the company's holiday specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, among others. It is the third television special to feature the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman characters, respectively. It was filmed in Japan using the company's trademark "Animagic" stop-motion animation style. The film premiered in the US on November 25, 1979 on ABC.
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is a 2000 Canadian–American animated Christmas TV special, directed by Phil Roman. The special first aired October 31, 2000, on The WB. Despite this film's Christmas theme, the date for its original airing was Halloween. It has subsequently aired on The CW, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Freeform during Advent. Since Warner Home Video distributed this special, Warner Bros. owns the copyrights. The title and plot are based on the novelty song of the same name.
A Flintstone Christmas is a 1977 animated Christmas television special featuring characters from The Flintstones franchise. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and is the second Christmas-themed animated work in the franchise, after the 1964 episode "Christmas Flintstone." Both feature the character Fred Flintstone taking on the role of Santa Claus.
There exists a wide range of secular Christmas stories, told in popular music, on television, and in the cinema, that are told about the Christian holiday of Christmas, that may be based on or allegorize the biblical Christian mythology of Christmas, as the birth of Jesus, but not necessarily. The stories may also have newer interpretations and introduce new characters. These secular Christmas stories could be classified as mythopoeia, or Christian allegories.
Arthur Christmas is a 2011 British-American 3D computer-animated Christmas comedy film, produced by Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation as their first collaborative project. The film was released on 11 November 2011, in the UK, and on 23 November 2011, in the USA.
Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas is an American 2011 Christmas TV special that aired on CBS on November 25, 2011. The special was based on the Hallmark Cards characters Hoops&Yoyo.
The Christmas Chronicles is a 2018 American Christmas film directed by Clay Kaytis from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman. The film stars Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. It also stars Judah Lewis, Darby Camp, Lamorne Morris, and with Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Oliver Hudson. Other stars include Martin Roach and Vella Lovell. The film was released on November 22, 2018, produced by 1492 Pictures and Wonder Worldwide, and distributed by Netflix.
Santa Claus is a 1912 fantasy silent film in which a little girl dreams that she goes to Toyland where she helps Santa Claus in his workshop. The film's lead actor Leedham Bantock became the first actor to portray Santa Claus in film.
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