Mrs. Claus is a second-string character in the annual Christmas story, behind Santa himself, his elves, and his reindeer. She is usually depicted as elderly, smiling dispenser of cookies. Except when she’s not. In the pic above she’s a vicious ax murderer (in advertising art for the Christmas horror flick Mrs. Claus) while below, she’s in the midst of a crime caper with her hubby.
You’ve heard of the black-eyed kids? Well these figures below are black-eyed Santas. If they should ring your doorbell in the dead of night, don’t answer it. They’ll drag away to some frozen hell where you’ll spend eternity varnishing poorly made wooden toys.
Alternately, Mrs. Claus is suffering from dementia (which accounts for her blank stare) and Santa, none too clear-headed himself, is leading her around by the arm.
Other times, Mrs. Claus gets to be a tattooed bikini babe or rubber vixen. Santa may take on many ghoulish guises, but only Mrs. Claus gets to be sexualized.
This isn’t to say, though, that she is free from Christmas horror or tweeness. The stuffed toy above, with its painted-on wrinkles and fused, mitten-like hand, is certainly disturbing, bringing to mind tales of Lobster Boy.
Then there’s this doll with its drop-dead glare.
In the Rankin-Bass stop-motion Christmas special Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, which purports to be the (entirely fictional) true story of how Santa Claus came to be, Mrs. Claus starts out as a blonde schoolteacher named Jessica. She falls in love with Kris Kringle (the future Santa) and even gets to sing a song of her own in the special. Later, she springs Kris from his jail cell in the vaguely Germanic town where they both live and runs away with him to the North Pole.
In contrast to pure-hearted Jessica, this Mrs. Claus looks like she’s up to something. Perhaps she’s planning a fling with the handsome male elf in charge of foddering the reindeer.
Look how tiny she is here compared to her huge-headed husband! Clearly she was his child bride. The strain of being married to him has, over the years, collapsed her shoulders, and she looks heavenward with eyes closed in pain.
Appealing or creepy? You decide. I think she looks a tad too simian.
“Lick my foot” said Mrs. Claus.
Santa’s having way too much fun in this motorized rocking chair that is being pushed by Mrs. Claus.
Photographer Cindy Sherman hams it up in this portrait of an about-to-vomit Mrs. Claus who looks like she pushed her left hand right into that cake on her knee.
Also inspired by fine art, this boxlike Christmas couple look like they’re been designed by artist Marisol Escobar. I almost said Louise Nevelson, but corrected myself.
And this one, Marc Chagall.
And if you want to create your own Mrs. Claus, her heads are in the middle.