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Friday, December 23, 2011
“Mrs. Claus and Miss Bates" Read By: Daniela Yeatts

Bishop St. Nicholas was unmarried but transformed into a secular Santa Claus version in the 1820s with Mrs. Claus popping into the picture around 1850.  She was popularized by Katharine Lee Bates in her 1889 poem, “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride,” printed as a book with illustrations of Mrs. Claus.  Before that, Santa worked alone or was helped by elves.
But Mrs. Claus was depicted as no stay-at-home wife and took a feminist stand in demanding credit for her hard work in making Christmas possible, including cooking to make Santa plump.
Also unconventional was her creator, Katharine Lee Bates, who shared a life and home with Katharine Coman, her devoted companion. Bates is best known, however, as creator of the words to “America the Beautiful.”
Dan S


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    December 23rd, 2011

Posted In: Music Shows