Study for December 16, 1939 cover of The Saturday Evening Post
Study for 'Extra Good Boys and Girls' manifests why "Norman Rockwell is generally credited with the invention of the modern American Christmas and the tender sentiments attached to it." (M.H. Hennessey, A. Knutson, Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People, exhibition catalogue, Atlanta, Georgia, 1999, p. 155) The largely secular vision of Christmas in 1930s America was almost entirely a result of mass media, and the character of Santa Claus satisfied a nation that was becoming increasingly focused on consumerism. Rockwell produced numerous holiday covers featuring Santa to satisfy the public's demand and, in so doing, helped to construct the modern American concept of Christmas. Indeed, "In many American homes Christmas and Thanksgiving weren't quite official until the Post arrived with a Norman Rockwell holiday cover." (S. Marker, Norman Rockwell, North Dighton, Massachusetts, 2004, p. 12)
L.N. Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, vol. 1, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, p. 143, no. C380) and is included as an addendum work in the Project Norman database created by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.