Thursday, 24 December 2009

The First Santa was a Scot!



Yes, the first person to dress up in red and white to entertain children at Christmas time was a Scot, according to Jasper Hamill in today's Herald.

He was an economic migrant who moved to America in search of work and ended up inspiring a tradition that has defined Christmas for millions of children.

James Edgar, an Edinburgh born entrepreneur, owned a department store in Brockton, Massachusetts. In 1878 he would stand on the roof of Edgar's Department Store every Saturday morning and scatter pennies for local children. What he loved most of all was dressing up to entertain them.

You can read the whole story here.

Now, I wonder who can find the first English, Irish or Welsh Santa?



29 comments:

Demetrius said...

Personally, I think it was really Attila The Hun, but somehow the story changed along the way.

subrosa said...

Oh Demetrius, I spilt my sherry reading that!

Catosays said...

Of course he was a Scot. I never got any presents when I was little...tight git he was....pmsl

subrosa said...

Rofl Cato, superb! We only used to get one present. One year I got my one and only doll. It had 'real' hair which would be combed and washed. My mother cut her hair off a few days after Christmas because she was fed up with me asking her to help me do the dolly's hair. (I've still the doll in the attic).

And people ask why I think my mother didn't like her children...

Catosays said...

That's a bit strong calling your one and only doll Baldy. I think your Mum had a nasty streak about her....lol. I'm sure she loved you really!!

Oldrightie said...

Santa Scot has a certain ring to it. A bit like Jimmy Snot.

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas SR.

Not the Messiah said...

It's maybe not so important that he was a scot and more important he was an immigrant....

Merry Christmas to all those that can't be with their loved ones for whatever reason.

Quiet_Man said...

In England it was always Father Christmas

"Father Christmas, a jolly, well nourished, bearded man who typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, predates the Santa Claus character. He is first recorded in early 17th century England, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness rather than the bringing of gifts." ☺

Harper, Douglas, Christ, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001. ;-)

Lorenzo said...

The first Welsh Santa was really a miner who also delivered coal wearing a red cloak in winter so as he wouldn't get lost in the deep snow drifts and he would also deliver broken toys he found thrown out at Pontypridd market, to the poorest families in the district when the very fist strike took place in 1746.

TheBigYin said...

Quite right too Subrosa, these bastard English even try to take away from us Scots that John Loggi Baird was the inventor of TV. (Ducks as the English wife tries to beat me around the head.)

Quiet_Man said...

@ BigYin

Well John Logie Baird was a Scot. Mind you he had to move to England to invent TV as I don't think Scotland had electriccery then ;-)

Bugger said...

We kept, and still do in Morningside, our coal in the bath, Quiet Man.

Subrosa is, by now, well wellied on Sherry and brandy pudding so, don't expect a response for her until midday of the 25th.

Merry Xmas to all non Pandas, even those of the English persuasion.

subrosa said...

Cato, she never loved me or my brother. Long story. Perhaps I'll tell it sometime.

The Filthy Engineer said...

Happy Christmas. (If you're sober enough to read this) LOL

subrosa said...

Oldrightie!!! Jimmy Snot was only born in Scotland. He has since become a Britain and refuses to call himself other than that. Isn't that shameful. I'd hate to think you didn't feel proud to call yourself English as much as I am to say I'm a Scot.

subrosa said...

Hi Santa Incoming!!!!! I hope you enjoy my mince pies because they're much better than last year. The sherry's Tio Pepe this year too - nothing but the best.

If you don't being me some decent presents tomorrow your name will rattle off my tongue with contempt in future. :)

subrosa said...

True Messiah, he couldn't make his fortune in Scotland so emigrated to the US.

My best wishes to you and yours and most of all those who can't be with people they care for at this time of year.

subrosa said...

Aye QM but did he appear on the equivalent of Big Brother to benefit children?

This one was a real live one. Maybe yours was too. Yours sounds a bit of an alcoholic by the way, very partial to a dram or four.

Thank you though, I won't take your research lightly. :)

subrosa said...

I knew it Lorenzo! A Welshman was the first Santa.

Aren't these stories just wonderful. We don't have people like that these days. There are plenty who would like to I'm sure but because of this politically correct country we live in they can't.

An example. I was given a gift of a small flat screen TV the other week but my old 'bulky' 26" TV still worked well. I rang 3 charities to say I'd deliver it to anyone who would like a 5 year old Panasonic TV in working order. No takers. Health and Safety doesn't allow them to take electrical appliances without a certificate which would cost c£50.

I gave it to some neighbours for their new conservatory.

subrosa said...

I hope she missed Big Yin or else ye'll need mair than paracetemol in the morning. :)

subrosa said...

QM the man never made a penny from his invention. His widow was left in poverty.

It's similar these days that's why our inventors go abroad. Nothing to encourage them here except taxes.

subrosa said...

Jeez Bug, wish I was wellied on the sherry, but have to admit to a few :)

Can't be wellied when I'm chief cook and bottle washer.

subrosa said...

FE, I'm the barmaid, I have to stay sober. Merry Christmas to you too.

Time for a hot chocolate and amaretto finisher I think. ;)

JPT said...

Mmmm....

subrosa said...

John, surely you don't doubt that premier Scottish newspaper? Or is that the Scotsman?

TheBigYin said...

@Subrosa It's a sad reflection on our country when you can't give away a five year old widscreen TV, no matter how bulky. I furnished my flat in Cumbernauld in the mid seventies with furniture from 'second hand' sales set up in the community, they were well attended and we were thankful that we had a chair to sit on, crockery to eat off and a few 'luxuries' like second hand tv's, even a spare one for the bedroom ffs, a little portable black and white and all, but we felt a bit special, we had more than most. Now you have to go to 'fake charity shops' and pay way, way over the top for other peoples much loved cast off's.

Now things are different for me, I have my 32inch flatscreen tv, a lovely adorned flat, (well to me and the mrs it is,) and all is well with the world, but got loads of stuff I bought and never, well, nearly never, used but I can't give it away.

It seems you can't help others by recycling your cast off,s unless you give money to the 'go betweens'.

Merry Christmas you fat fake charities!

banned said...

Merry Christmas to you and Yours Subrosa, thanks for your blogging.
Time to hit the Laphroig.

subrosa said...

And the same to you banned. Time to hit the memory foam here.

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