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  #1  
Old 01-07-2009, 12:15 AM
Wenceslaus Wenceslaus is offline
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Mrs. Santa Claus decorations

I've been researching the history of Mrs. Santa Claus lately for the Wikipedia article on her. She first appears in the poem "Goody Santa Claus" by Katherine Lee Bates in 1889 ("Goody" being short for "Goodwife", i.e., "Mrs."). But she was scarce in the decades after that, not really becoming a fixture in popular culture until the 1960s, at least as far as I can tell.

To those who collect Christmas things: does Mrs. Santa Claus appear much in Christmas collectibles before the 1960s? I'm thinking of ornaments, statuettes, dolls, prints, etc.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2009, 07:12 AM
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santahat An 1878 reference to Mrs. Santa Claus

Check out a story called "Lill's Travels in Santa Claus Land," published in 1878. You can find it on the Project Gutenberg website here:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20112...-h/20112-h.htm

In the story, Lill observes a lady who may or may not be Mrs. Santa Claus:

"There was a lady sitting by a golden desk, writing in a large book, and Santa Claus was looking through a great telescope, and every once in a while he stopped and put his ear to a large speaking-tube."

Later, after Lill is brought back home:

"Effie sank back in the chair to think. She wished Lill had found out how many black marks she had, and whether that lady was Mrs. Santa Claus—and had, in fact, obtained more accurate information about many things."

An earlier mention of Mrs. Santa Claus than yours? We aren't sure if the lady at the desk IS Santa's missus, but the story mentions Mrs. Santa Claus.

There is also at least one Mrs. Santa Claus song from the 1950s, which was sung by Nat King Cole. If you want a copy, please PM me, and I'll dig it up and send you an MP3.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:14 AM
Wenceslaus Wenceslaus is offline
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Ah, hah! An earlier mention. Just the kind of thing I was looking for. Thank you for this helpful information, MerryCarey.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:34 AM
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santahat Earlier yet---1851

The Yale Literary Magazine of December 1851:

"... in bounded that jolly, fat and funny old elf, Santa Claus ... He seemed to have done his best; and we should think, had Mrs. Santa Claus to help him."

Found it by searching Google Books for "Mrs. Santa Claus" before 1878.

Link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=IbEgAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA82&dq=%22mrs.+santa+cla us%22+date:1600-1878&lr=lang_en&num=20&as_brr=1&as_pt=ALLTYPES

Earlier, anyone?
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:27 PM
Wenceslaus Wenceslaus is offline
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MerryCarey, a tip of the red fur cap to your research skills. The Wikipedia article on Mrs. Claus is all that much richer because of you.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:07 PM
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Wow! I just learned alot just by reading your posts.... I'm impressed. Something to look into. Thanks for sharing your info.
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