Santa Claus Worldwide: A History of St. Nicholas and Other Holiday Gift-Bringers is a comprehensive history of the world’s midwinter gift-givers, showcasing the extreme diversity in their depictions as well as the many traits and functions these characters share.
After collecting Santa Claus figurines for thirty-five years while practicing law in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Tom A. Jerman retired at the end of 2015 and moved to Asheville, N.C., where he began writing a book on the history of Santa Claus.
The Santa Blog
The Santa Blog is my attempt to highlight some of the most interesting stories about Santa and his fellow midwinter gift-givers with articles designed for publication on important dates through the Christmas season. The topics range from the light (Thanksgiving recipes and postcards) to the serious (why humans celebrated the winter solstice) to the silly (Catalonia’s “poop log”). Some of these are stories from the book while others cover more diverse subjects.
How “The Night Before Christmas” Arrived in The Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel On December 23, 1823 In 1821, a printer and bookseller named William B. Gilley and an illustrator named Arthur Stansbury published an eight-page booklet titled The Children’s Friend: A New-Year’s Present to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve.
News and Media
The News and Media tab will take you to the links for a combination of videotaped interviews, articles written by Tom for such institutions as the American Antiquarian Society, podcasts, and news articles posted on the internet.
If you cannot judge a book by its cover, you can often judge it by its reviews on bookseller and reader sites: “A fantastic historical study of evolution of Santa” . . . “Might be definitive history of Santa Claus” . . . “Jerman sets the record straight about the history of Santa” . . . “REALLY impressive piece of work” . . . “Entertaining, persuasive, and in places hilarious” . . . “As a life long fan of Santa and a professional Santa myself i really love and recommend this book.”
Santa through history
To obtain the best understanding of how Santa and his fellow midwinter gift-givers developed, the most interesting approach and, I presume, the most accurate approach is to review historical illustrations. Santa Through History is a collection of historical illustrations dating back to 1750, some of which were included in Santa Claus Worldwide and some of which were not.