Twas the Night Before — Hold It Right There, Fat Man!

The modern version of Santa Claus derives a lot of its imagery from Clement C. Moore’s 1822 poem, “The Visit From St. Nicholas” (known today as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”), and one of the enduring images of Santa is “a right jolly old elf” who smokes: “a stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth/ And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.”

St. Nick’s association with tobacco goes back a long way, and is even more closely linked to cigarettes than pipes; good ol’ Santa has long been an advertising icon for coffin nails in the USA.


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