This week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to Santa’s wife, Mrs. Claus.
The legend of Santa Claus – a.k.a. St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle – has been around since the 4th century. Yet it’s widely believed the very first mention of Mrs. Claus was in 1849, in a short story called “A Christmas Legend” by a missionary named James Rees. In it, a family of four is sitting by the fire on Christmas Eve, when the daughter wonders if they should put up stockings for Kris Kringle. There’s a knock at the door which turns out to be an old man and his wife, who are tired from traveling all day. The family offers them food and a place to stay for the night and tells them they used to have another daughter, but she ran off with a man and is dead to them. The next morning, the house is filled with toys and gifts but the travelers are gone! They soon reappear as a younger couple – the woman is actually the family’s long-lost daughter, who disguised herself and her husband as old weary travelers on Christmas Eve. All is forgiven! The daughter is believed to be the very first mention of Santa’s wife. Two years later, a student writer referred to her as “Mrs. Santa Claus” in the Yale Literary Review – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, many believe she runs things at the North Pole while her husband travels around the world, making his list, checking it twice, attending holiday parties and providing photo opps in shopping malls. Meanwhile, she manages the elves, helps fix toys, makes delicious comfort food, bakes cookies – all of the behind-the-scenes stuff that enables Santa to do what he does best. Thanks, Mrs. Claus, and Merry Christmas!