Santa Claus is getting ready for Christmas Eve in the images chosen for the annual Vernon Grant card and ornament released Thursday by the Culture & Heritage Museums.
The limited-edition ornament for 2014 is titled “Giddy-Up Go, It’s Christmas” and depicts Santa driving a toy wagon, led by a bucktoothed horse. His sleigh is piled high with vintage toys. The ornament has a 24-karat gold finish.
“Santa’s Stunning Reflection” is the title of this year’s Christmas card. It shows a round Santa in a white suit checking his appearance in a mirror held by a small elf.
Grant, a 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 81st anniversary of the trio.
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The collectible 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.
The Culture and Heritage Museums have released an annual Grant-illustrated ornament for 28 years and a card for 36 years.
This year, the unveiling was complemented by a book signing by Rock Hill’s Linda Williams, author of “Beyond Snap! Crackle! Pop! The Story of American Illustrator Vernon Grant.”
The artwork of the ornament “Giddy-Up Go, It’s Christmas” might look familiar, as it was renamed “Sesqui-Santa” by local residents to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Rock Hill. The ornament completes the series of five titled “Getting Ready to Go,” which shows Santa’s activities as he prepares for his annual Christmas Eve flight around the world.
Grant created “Santa’s Stunning Reflection” in 1973, with Mr. Claus sporting a new look in a white suit, and sent the image as a Christmas card to friends and family. It looks similar to the popular 1960s “Classy Santa.”
The ornament and card can be purchased at the gift shops of the Museum of York County, the Main Street Children’s Museum, Historic Brattonsville, and at chmuseums.org.