Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Countdown Characters #19

No prizes for guessing that today's S celebrities include the jolly man himself,  but wait, there's more... 
 S is for Santa Claus  and Suzy Snowflake 
What do these two have in common - nothing much except a  tentative Christmas link, a reference to the same era, and  I think they look good  in a snowy scene together. 
I am sure I do not need to add  much to the profile of Santa Claus  because many of you are most likely experts on the subject. However,  in Australia, I often see images of Santa in beach board shorts or even wearing a bush hat with hanging corks to keep away the summer flies and I wonder how it came about that red flannel and white fur are still the preferred attire for Santa. 
 Did you know that red and white became a tradition after Santa appeared in a Coca Cola advertisement in 1931?  Coca Cola Company deny that they "invented" Santa Claus as we know him - plump, jolly, friendly and definitely lovably human. In the past Santa Claus had been depicted as a thin man or a spooky elf. I think Cocoa Cola had a lot to do with "shaping" the image of Santa Claus with their famous Christmas advertisements from 1931 -1964 by Sundblom. Perhaps Cocoa Cola  didn't  create the image of a 'modern" Santa Claus, but they certainly popularised it.

Now as we are going back in time in popular Christmas culture, the personified snowflake, called Suzy got her break when, in 1951,  Rosemary Clooney recorded Suzy Snowflake as a Christmas song, with instant appeal to those who love Winter.  Suzy Snowflake is thought to be a young happy character who dances her way through a Winter Wonderland. Although Rosemary Clooney's version remains the most popular  "record" , I have included a dancing video version of this catchy Christmas song about Suzy Snowflake... just for all the tap dancers in my family. 

Since hearing this song recently, it does appear to be strange that a snowflake , even with a name like Suzy, could take on human attributes, and it doesn't really make sense - such an impossibility here in mid summer. 
But if you believe in Christmas, anything is possible.  

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