Monday, October 10, 2011

Christmas 2007 - Santa Comes from Åland! 9.10.2007

Åland issued this cover with a very jolly Santa Claus as the theme on its Christmas stamp. These were issued on 9.10.2007 The cover was sent to me by my dear friend Pia.
The year's Christmas stamp is something out of the ordinary. The Post presents the real Santa Claus – created by an Ålander! Haddon Sundblom was born in 1899 in Michigan and grew up in Chicago. His father Karl Wilhelm emigrated to the USA in 1882 from Föglö in Åland. Haddon's mother Karin came from Sweden. Haddon first planned to follow in his father's footsteps within the building trade but soon decided to pursue art. In the 1920's, he started an advertising agency in Chicago and was in great demand for various commercial assignments. In 1931, Haddon was asked to design an unbeatable Christmas commercial for Coca-Cola. He chose to change the so far rather uninteresting, greyish looking Santa, creating a merry and cheerful man with red cheeks and a large white beard. In doing so, he not only created a lasting symbol associated with a particular trade mark but also changed the general perception of Santa Claus. Every Christmas, Haddon created a new version of Santa Claus. He drew his last Santa Claus for Coca-Cola in 1966, but the Coca-Cola Santa tradition lives on. The illustrations are still used every year in Coca-Cola commercials.
2007’s Åland Christmas stamp shows a Haddon Sundblom Santa, mind you, without a Coca-Cola bottle. The denomination Julpost 07 implies that the stamp could be used for sending Christmas greetings to Åland, Finland and Sweden for €0.50 during a limited period from November to December.

1 comment:

  1. The following text, and many more interesting facts, can be found in the web site of Coca Cola Company:

    "In the beginning, artist Haddon Sundblom painted the image of Santa using a live model -- his friend, Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. When Prentiss passed away, Sundblom used himself as a model, painting while looking into a mirror. After the 1930s, he used photographs to create the image of St. Nick.

    The children who appear with Santa Claus in Haddon Sundlbom’s paintings were based on Sundblom's neighbors. However, the neighbors were both girls, and Sundblom simply changed one to a boy in his paintings!

    The dog in the 1964 original Santa Claus painting by artist Haddon Sundblom was actually a gray poodle belonging to the neighborhood florist. Sundblom painted the animal with black fur, instead, to make the dog stand out in the holiday scene."