The Christmas House is one of nine miniature sculptures from the Luminiart Collection. Click here
to see images of the entire collection on the Artist's website.
Claus is a composite of Saint Nicholas and Father Christmas. Nicholas
of Myra, 4th century bishop of Byzantine Anatolia in present day Turkey,
was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. Father Christmas dates
back to 17th century Britain and typified the spirit of good cheer at
Christmas. He was portrayed by Charles Dicken’s in the "Spirit of
Christmas Present" from A Christmas Carol. Children worldwide believe in Santa Claus. In Germany, he’s named
Sankt Nikolaus, Sinterklaas in Holland, Père Noël in France, Julenissen
in Scandinavia, Father Christmas in England, Papai Noel in Brazil, Viejo
Pasquero in Chile, Ded Moroz in Slavic countries, and Joulupukki in
Finland. Whatever his moniker, he is beloved and
anticipated wherever he travels.
The American version of Santa Claus was brought by Dutch settlers to
New York in the 17th century. American author Washington Irving gave the
country its first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint
Nicholas. Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in
the poem The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. One of the
first artists to capture Santa’s image as we know him today was Thomas
Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century, who in 1862
illustrated him for Harper's Weekly. Another popularization is A History
of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz.
In the United States, the tradition is to leave Santa a glass of milk
and cookies; in Britain, he is given sherry and mince pies. British and
American children also leave out a carrot for Santa's reindeer. Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been immortalized in a Gene Autry song. As
such, he is typically included as the sleigh's lead reindeer. The names
of all the other reindeer were invented in the poem A Visit From St.
Nicholas, better known as The Night Before Christmas, ascribed to
Clement Clarke Moore. The reindeer are traditionally pictured with
antlers, although males shed their antlers in the winter.
Even though Santa would have to travel at a velocity of 8 million
meters per second to visit all of the world’s households, we invite your
imagination to conjure special memories of this round-bellied bearer of