Merry Christmas to All

Christmas

Thomas Nast, the German-born American cartoonist, gave us our image of Santa Claus, although his civil war illustrations included a bit of gruesome realism not usually found in Christmas greetings:

Merry_Christmas_to_All,_by_Thomas_Nast

Note the severed heads of southern leaders surrounding Ulysses S. Grant in the bottom panel.

Prior to Nast’s illustrations of Santa Claus, that worthy had an entirely different appearance, witness this 1858 illustration from Harper’s Weekly:

EarlySanta1858Harper'sWeekly

However you celebrate the season – or don’t, as the case may be – my wish is that the holiday and coming year might find you with an abundance of peace and those things which you value.

The Old Wolf has spoken.