How old is Santa Claus?
In the 1800s, Artist Thomas Nash drew the illustrations that are used to this day to depict Santa. He's a jolly, chubby old man, but what age did Nash envision for his creation?
Since we are living longer lives than people in the Victorian era, I suspect we will judge Santa as much older than Nash intended. I suspect Nash thought his cartoon man to be in his late forties or fifties. Today, I imagine people will say that he is in his 70s or 80s.
What do you think? Is he forever 49 or 73 or what?
I think that Nast saw him as 50. I see him as 85 and the next generation will think he's 100. Our perception of aging is changing and soon in the U.S., retirement age will be about 75. I am all for it (speaking as a 70 year old)
Interesting question. To me he has always looked like a grandfather and I never thought about his age. However, after considering all the people I know who are older I can only say Santa will have remain ageless to me since I can no longer guess someone age these days because looks can be so deceiving.
Yes he looks like a grandfather, but that's my point. My grandfather was ready for a rocking chair at 55, while I was still running in road races and doing five miles in under an hour at the same age. Now, at 70 I still work 3 - 5 days per week.
My perception of him as grandfather was from childhood stories I never had one I could compare him to and when I look at my young and hot 67 year old husband I so no resemblance.
Santa Claus is ageless and timeless, and no mere artist's rendering will ever adequately or completely portray him. He's as old as kindness and generosity, and as young as the magic that can only be felt in the youngest of hearts. He's as old as good will and caring, and as young as imagining forever and everywhere both at the same time. One thing's for sure: He's not 49. If he were he'd be younger than I am, and - I'm sorry - that isn't (as they say) happening.
The original Saint Nicholas was born in the year 270 A.D. Using that date, Santa Claus would be 1742 years old in 2012.
I know that he never ages, I'm just measuring our perception of how old he seems to be in the common illustrations of him. It is part of a study on what year constitutes the start of old age.
Santa Claus is the spirit of Christmas and therefore ageless. As a spirit he has no beginning or end. He just exist in the hearts and imaginations of all those who believe he is, myself included. For your study I'd say he is as old as the planet.
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