Day 10: Frosty the Snowman & Co.

Snowmen, Jack Frost, and Myths, oh my! Jesus doesn't just share His supposed birthday with Santa Claus, there's a whole cast of fictional characters swarming through the season. Let's look at where they come from and how they fit it to the holiday.





On the 10th Day of Christmas, A Heap of Other Characters Joined the Party

Introduction

We talked about the pagan origins of Santa, which indirectly touches on elves and Rudolph, but what about other wintry characters like Frosty the Snowman and Jack Frost? While neither is as popular as Santa and would still come to mind after both Jesus and Santa, they are icons of the holidays.
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Frosty the Snowman

Photocredit: Shutterstock.com/Anneka
Technically, Frosty the Snowman has nothing to do with Christmas; he has to do with winter, specifically snow. Yet, even as a person who has experienced 80°F Christmases, but has never seen snow on Christmas, Frosty the Snowman seems "Christmas-y" to me. They don't continue to play Frosty the Snowman (the movie) or "Frosty the Snowman" (the song) after Christmas has passed, so I think its safe to assume most others also lump Frosty in with the Christmas holiday as opposed to the general winter season.

Who is he, though? Is he ok to plaster on your kid's notebooks, sing about, and watch movies about? Unlike Santa, Frosty doesn't try to be Jesus; there really are no comparisons there, I mean Frosty isn't even human-like. No kid ever thinks Frosty is real, nor do they expect a snowman they build to suddenly come alive (do they?).

Like Rudolph, Frosty's origin story is a song by Gene Autry. Following the hit record, a children's books and movie were made. The combination of these things boosted Frosty's status as a winter icon. Unlike Rudolph, Frosty isn't attached to Santa, but that doesn't mean he isn't a distraction meant to lure God's people into celebrating a pagan holiday. Why not promote Frosty all winter? Many conservative Christians might also lambaste the magic aspect of the story. The Bible does not look too kindly on practicing magic, and God is not attributed as the creator of the snowman (though a believer would still assume He created the snow). I think, however, the most problematic aspect of Frosty the Snowman, is not that he's a "magical" snowman or the question of his creator, but the fact that it seems to be a yet another way for companies to shift attention from Jesus and make money. Whether you understand the true origin of Christmas as pagan, or attempt to keep Jesus as the reason for the season, Frosty is one of those many hooks that pulls you towards the pagan. I think it's possible that God has no qualms with Frosty as a character, but I do think He may see Him as a lure and tempter for His people, thus putting Frosty in the hot box.
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Jack Frost

Well what about Jack Frost? The first time I heard of Jack Frost was in "The Christmas Song" ( Jack Frost nipping at your nose... ), and again, though theoretically he should be a winter icon and not a Christmas icon, he too is associated with Christmas. Where I grew up, the winter season (at least the cold of winter) doesn't start until late November to mid-December, and ends sometime in March. So why are these wintry characters stuffed into the first few days of winter then totally forgotten about? If people can stomach Christmas decorations in stores starting in October, why can't Jack Frost (or Frosty the Snowman) appear from December to February? Instead they culminate with Christmas, and disappear shortly after.

Unlike Frosty, Jack Frost does have ties to paganism. As the personification of winter and a possible double for "Old Man Winter" or "Father Frost," Jack Frost is deeply connected to the winter solstice (and thus the pagan holidays surrounding it).[2] Jack Frost might also be an elf, of course not the same type of elf known for working with Santa—more of a sprite. Likely, Jack Frost is the son of a Norse god of the wind.[3] Luckily, Jack Frost doesn't have his own song to get stuck in your head, though he is a character Guardians of the Galaxy. Overall, I'd say God probably dislikes Jack Frost much more than Frosty.
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References

  1. Eckstein, Bob. "Way Past Frosty: An Uncensored History of the Snowman". NPR. December 2007
  2. Tuthill, Samantha-Rae."Winter Tales and Myths: Where Did Old Man Winter, Jack Frost Come From?". Accu Weather. December 2014
  3. Roy, Alyssa. "The Amazingness of Jack Frost throughout History". Rotoscopers. June 2013

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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