Episode #63 – The Origins of Modern Santa, Elves Spying on Kids, Krampus Unleashed, & Border Wall Talk


ASP Stuff Radio is fashionably late for Christmas or perhaps preparing for an early 2019 Christmas celebration.  In any case, happy New Year to all of our listeners!  In this first episode of 2019 Paulato delves into the competing origins of the modern day Santa Claus: should Thomas Nast, the “father of the American political cartoon,” take credit or the Michigan-born illustrator Haddon Sundblom whom which Coca-Cola commissioned to develop catchy advertising images?  Or maybe Clement Moore, the American author of the Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” which is more famously known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” deserves some Christmas glory?  After all, both illustrators were inspired by Moore’s descriptions of Santa in his literary Christmas classic.

Steveocrates then talks about the history of the Elf on the Shelf trend that kick-started back in 2005, founded by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, while Alberotle turns to the dark side of Christmas and discusses Krampus, a “half-goat, half-demon” beast (antithetical to that cute elf and St. Nicholas) that punishes naughty kids, which is apparently having a recent revival in U.S. pop culture.  

Speaking of the dark side, ASP conclude the show with politics (again) by critically evaluating the border wall issue: will this concrete barrier wall-fence-thing solve illegal immigration, or even pay for itself (besides Mexico “indirectly” paying for it)? Most importantly, is The Wall standoff worth shutting down the government for this long in United States history?

Christmas and politics? Enjoy the show!

Download and listen to episode #63!


Krampus unleashed! ‘Tis the season to be fearful.

patriotic santa

“Santa Claus in Camp” expresses Thomas Nast’s political colors by depicting a patriotic Santa siding with the Union, from Harper’s Weekly (1863).


Thomas Nast’s “Merry Old Santa Claus” from Harper’s Weekly (1881).  This illustration really got the modern Santa ball rollin’.


“My Hat’s Off to The Pause that Refreshes” (1931).  Sundblom’s “wholesome” Santa making his first Coca-Cola appearance.


Another Haddon Sundblom creation (1941).  Take it easy on the Coke, Santa!


Sundblom & Coca-Cola (1945) working the masses thirst for a sugary concoction.


“Travel Refreshed” (1949), or more like “Drink, drink, drink!”  Santa’s elf-like sidekick, Sprite Boy (from the Latin “spiritus” or spirit), later inspires the name for that other sugary liquid called Sprite, but without any elf-like ingredients.


Photo: Trump hiding behind a wall photo

Music: “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Podington Bear
From the Free Music Archive
Attribution CC BY

Music: “Pleasant Anticipation” by Dee Yan-Key
From the Free Music Archive
Attribution CC BY

Music: “Angels We Have Heard On High” by Podington Bear
From the Free Music Archive
Attribution CC BY

Music: “Santa Claus” by Pornophonik
From the Free Music Archive
Attribution CC BY

“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com).  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Music: “Let’s Start at the Beginning” by Lee Rosevere
From the Free Music Archive
Attribution CC BY

Music: “Nullsleep – Silent Night” by The 8bitspeoples
From the Free Music Archive
Attribution CC BY

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