Where Did Mrs. Claus Come From?


Christmas is a joyous time of year where we celebrate many things. However, a big part of Christmas around the world is the idea of Santa Claus. The history of Santa spans centuries, and dates back to 300 AD. So, in all this time, when did Santa Claus get married?

Santa came from a compilation of pagan and Christian beliefs, mixed with folklore and stories or customs of deities and elementals, all inspired by a living breathing saint, St. Nicholas, who was born in 240 AD or so.

So, what about his wife? When did she come into the picture? Well, it would seem that for as long as Santa has been around, that he and Mrs. Claus must be newly weds. Why? Well because Mrs. Claus, it seems, only arrived on the scene in the late 19th century.

Before the late 19th century, Santa Claus, Papa Christmas, Father Noel, and Kris Kringle to name a few, worked alone, or was helped by a couple of male attendants or elves. However, Mrs. Claus adds a nice touch to the holiday custom of Santa Claus. And, she is not only recognized in America but in other cultures as well.

So, when did she first come around? Katharine Lee Bates is credited as the first person to include a wife in the picture or idea of Santa. Katharine Lee Bates is also responsible for the song “America the Beautiful”, however that is not relevant. In 1899 she published a set of books, and in those books was a picture of Mrs. Claus. However, she was not referred to in words. But, some will say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and it is believed that is the earliest documented appearance of Mrs. Claus.

Since that time, Mrs. Claus has gotten extremely popular, and no one seems to mind the addition of a wife to the idea of the gift giving legend.

So, let’s take a closer look at how Mrs. Claus became so popular:

•1899 She is in a picture.

•1956 George Melachrino wrote a song titled Mrs. Santa Claus, which really helped people to better embrace the idea of Santa no longer being alone, but having a wife.

From there we see many children’s movies and books that either mention or portray a small, calm, woman who appears much like Santa with white hair, slightly chubby, and wears red. She has been characterized as a lovely little woman who enjoys to bake, and sends cookies and other treats with Santa on his long journey across the world, then patiently waits by the fire for him to return. She is a part of most movies, books, and even Christmas cards today. You can just as easily get a Mrs. Claus costume as a Santa Claus costume. In fact, you could say that Mrs. Claus is much a part of Christmas as many of our other cherished customs, even if Santa still appears at malls solo.

So, in answer to where Mrs. Claus came from? The logical answer is likely from the imagination and questioning of children. Like many of the other customs and traditions associated with Christmas, they came as part of an answer to the endless inquiry of children. How does he travel? Where does he live? How does he make so many toys? Introducing sleighs, the North Pole, and elves. So you can see Mrs. Claus and Santa are happily married and together enjoy bringing excitement to the lives of children one night a year.

Santa Claus: The Magical World of Father Christmas
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