Ho Ho Cough Ho Weez

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When I was a kid we left a plate of cookies, a glass of milk, and a pack of Kent cigarettes for Santa. In the morning the cookies were half eaten, the milk barely touched and the smokes were gone. I remember thinking that Jolly St. Nick would have been better off with cigars. Of course, there was something perverse about this. I can’t recall any Saint or prophet who smoked. So to make Santa into a smoker and spokesperson for tobacco was the ultimate blasphemy.  Maybe we should forget the red suit and name him in a class action suit.
 

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

3 thoughts on “Ho Ho Cough Ho Weez

  1. MarkTaylor

    While I agree that the images of Santa with cigarettes seems quite inappropriate I do recall seeing images of him smoking a pipe. The images were quite old from the 19th century I believe. Also, in the poem “Twas the Night before Christmas” it references him having a pipe and the smoke circling his head. To me, somehow the image of him with a pipe and smoke curling around his head does not quite give the chainsmoking image that the above ads do.

    Happy new year and thanks for your always insightful column.

  2. MarkTaylor

    While I agree that the images of Santa with cigarettes seems quite inappropriate I do recall seeing images of him smoking a pipe. The images were quite old from the 19th century I believe. Also, in the poem “Twas the Night before Christmas” it references him having a pipe and the smoke circling his head. To me, somehow the image of him with a pipe and smoke curling around his head does not quite give the chainsmoking image that the above ads do.

    Happy new year and thanks for your always insightful column.

  3. MarkTaylor

    While I agree that the images of Santa with cigarettes seems quite inappropriate I do recall seeing images of him smoking a pipe. The images were quite old from the 19th century I believe. Also, in the poem “Twas the Night before Christmas” it references him having a pipe and the smoke circling his head. To me, somehow the image of him with a pipe and smoke curling around his head does not quite give the chainsmoking image that the above ads do.

    Happy new year and thanks for your always insightful column.

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