2018 50¢ Sparkling Holidays: Laughing Santa
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: October 11, 2018
First Day City: Pigeon Forge, TN
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 1,000,000,000
There is no holiday figure as beloved by the world as Santa Claus. Over the years, many artists have depicted him in different ways, slowly influencing the way we see Santa today.
Santa Claus has been the star of holiday Coca-Cola advertisements since the 1920s. However, in 1931, the company decided to introduce a new image of Santa. They envisioned a more kind, grandfatherly figure. To achieve this, they hired skilled illustrator and oil painter Haddon Sundblom.
Sundblom's first Coca-Cola Santa painting appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1931. The image quickly captured readers' attention with stunning detail and rich colors. The following year, Sundblom continued the tradition with a second painting. It pictured Santa finding a note from a boy named Jimmy, who left him a bottle of Coca-Cola instead of cookies. This design is one of the most well-known and has reappeared several times over the years.
Haddon Sundblom based his version of Santa on the famous poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas." He gave him a big, welcoming smile, rosy cheeks, a red fur-trimmed coat, and a snowy-white beard. Sundblom took Santa and made him into the sweet, loving spirit of the holidays we know today.