The Coca Cola Santa – sleigh driving, gift-giving, plump with a white beard and distinctive red suit trimmed with white fur and sipping a Coca-Cola – created by illustrator Haddon Sundblom for their advertising campaigns of the 1930s and 40 may be the Santa most of us recall when we think of Santa Claus.
He was first St. Nicholas, celebrated on December 6th.
Thomas Nast’s illustrations immortalized Santa Claus into his current look. This is his “Merry Old Santa Claus” published in the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly. Nast is also credited with incorporating the North Pole, Santa’s workshop, and the big book with names of children noting naughty or nice.
For me, my Santa is the red suited man in the Coca Cola ads.
This two minute video explains how he became most people’s Santa.