Tom of Finland often made Christmas cards for his clients each year. With these, he stayed true to his aesthetic, as well as his vision of the masculine ideal. Certainly, you’re not going to find a plump, older Santa in Tom’s work. Yes, it may be the holidays, but this is still the art of Tom of Finland after all. The men he depicted in Santa attire have the same attributes as the rest of his men - they’re muscular, iconic men, sure of their sexuality and proud of their bodies.
The first known holiday card he created was in 1959 and he continued to make holiday sketches throughout his lifetime.
Oftentimes holiday-themed works tend to look the same, using the same phrases and imagery. However, Tom, as he did with everything else in his work, marched to his own drummer. He created a unique vision of the holiday season with these works.
Throughout his work, Tom constantly challenged conceptions of masculinity and sexuality, nearly single-handedly creating a new masculine ideal and freeing sexuality from the stifling norms that had been holding it back. That’s a present from him that we can be thankful for all year-round, not just at Christmas.