Santa Claus is Coming to Town

With Christmas Eve just around the corner, Santa is making his final preparations.

He’s double-checking his naughty and nice lists.


Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell, December 24, 1926

And he’s making sure he’s well-hydrated for the long trip (and where better to go than the world’s largest soda-fountain at Famous Barr Department Stores in St. Louis?)

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by Fred Mizen, from Ladies’ Home Journal, December 1930

He wants to be properly well-stocked with the best gifts for the good boys and girls.

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by Grace Draydon, from Pictorial Review, December 1915

He’d hate to be caught without any gifts.

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Life cover by Paul Stahr, December 3, 1914

Santa knows that a successful Christmas Eve depends on his reindeer being healthy enough to make the trip.  Rest assured, he has a backup plan, just in case his reindeer are ill.


by Derec Aucoin, from Adventures of Superman #623, February 2004

He’s also considered that he himself could fall ill on the big night, so he’s trained an understudy.

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by Jill Bauman, from Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 1991

But he’s really planning to make the overnight trip himself.  He’s prepared for it all year. Besides, he’d hate to miss out on all the milk and cookies.

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Family Circle cover by Norman Rockwell, December 1928

Modern Graphic History Library wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and hopes you are on Santa’s Nice List.


The Campbell’s Soup advertisement and the cover from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction are from MGHL’s Periodical’s Collection.

The Fred Mizen Santa image at the Famous Barr soda fountain is from the Charles Craver Collection.

The Superman image is from the Center For Humanities Comics Collection.

All other images are from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.