A portly, bouncy Santa carrying a sack of toys and Santa having his boots shined by a gnome are the two images of Christmas chosen for the annual Vernon Grant Christmas card and ornament released through the Museum of York County.
The longtime Rock Hill resident and artist is best known as the creator of the “Snap! Crackle! and Pop!” gnome-like characters that have served as spokes-cartoons for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies since 1933. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the trio.
The 2013 Vernon Grant limited-edition ornament is titled “Snap, Polish and Shine.” It depicts a jolly Santa getting his boots shined in preparation for Christmas Eve.
“Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag” is the title of this year’s Christmas card. It shows Santa carrying a sack full of gifts.
The collectible, gold-plated ornament and card were created from classic illustrations by the late Grant, who retired to Rock Hill in the 1940s. Grant created more than 100 holiday illustrations that have spanned two centuries.
The Culture and Heritage Museums have released a Grant-illustrated ornament annually for 26 years and a card for 35 years.
The ornament “Snap, Polish and Shine” is based on Grant’s original 1978 image of a gnome shining Santa’s boots as Santa sits in a rocking chair.
It is the fourth in a series of five ornaments, titled “Getting Ready to Go,” that show Santa’s activities as he prepares for his annual Christmas Eve flight around the world.
Grant created “Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag” in 1946, depicting a different portrayal of his favorite subject. Santa, who is quite round, is marching forward through the snow with a bag full of gifts.
Museum officials said Grant’s spin on Santa with a new bag depicts the mood of the nation as American families were still celebrating the victory of World War II.
Those returning home were adjusting to a new life, and some had a different look.
From curvaceous ladies in holiday settings to whimsical snowmen and jolly Santas, Grant created some of his best illustrations in 1946.
It is the 82nd annual release of a Vernon Grant Christmas card or magazine cover.
The tradition began with the December cover of “Ladies’ Home Journal” in 1932.
The ornament and card can be purchased at the Museum Store in the Museum of York County or at chmuseums.org.