Hummm. This is a strange one. Santa Claus is not only in a motor boat, but riding it in GREEN water! It probably matched the muted colors on this vintage Christmas postcard better than blue. Still, a motor boat is quite unusual on a postcard. I decided to look into the various modes of Santa Claus transportation.
Santa’s First Mode of Transportation
Many attribute Santa Claus’ beginnings to a 4th century bishop in Turkey. This bishop, Saint Nicholas, walked when placing presents in children’s shoes. As his legend grew, so did the kids to be reached with presents. Saint Nicholas’ mode of transportation had to change to answer the question, “How does Santa deliver presents to all the children in one night?” Walking would not answer this.
Early Santa Transportation in America
The Dutch of New Amsterdam (New York) brought Sinter Klaas (Saint Nicholas) to America via a legend that included him riding a white horse. In Washington Irving’s 1809 book, A History of New York, he also used a horse. The book was revised in 1812 to show Saint Nicholas riding over the trees in a wagon.
Other Odd Santa Transportation
The Mailick green Santa Claus from my Antique Postcard Artist Alfred Mailick – Odd Subject blog post is another example of odd transportation (donkey) for Santa Claus. I was not able to find a definitive answer as to when the sleigh began to appear.
Note: anytime you find Santa Claus using transportation other than a sleigh pulled by reindeer on a postcard, the value will go up. How much will depend on the mode of transportation and rarity, but can range from $5-10.
Feel free to look at other Santa Claus postcards from my personal collection on my web store’s gallery page.
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