Hey, folks! Jared here. If you read the blog about me then you know I was born and raised in New Jersey. So, it will come as no surprise to you that when it comes to Louisiana holiday traditions I’m still learning. Despite six years of living in NOLA, I find myself learning something new (and more often than not, interesting) every year.
This leads me to my newest discovery, Mr. Bingle. Yes, I know, it’s awful that I didn’t know about this legendary character until recently but at least I’m learning about him now, right?
For those of you, who like me were raised in a different part of the country, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Bingle. The character who looks like a cross between an elf and a snowman was created by an employee at the famed New Orleans department store, Maison Blanche in the late 1940s.
Mr. Bingle’s local fame started to grow when his yearly puppet show became a “can’t miss” event with New Orleans children. The show ran yearly until the mid-1980s. Mr. Bingle was also a frequent guest on local radio and television commercials. Heck, the beloved character even had his own theme song:
Jingle, jangle, jingle
Here comes Mr. Bingle
With another message from Kris Kringle
Time to launch your Christmas season
Maison Blanche makes Christmas pleasin’
Gifts galore for you to see
Each a gem from MB!
What is Mr. Bingles purpose? Well, he was brought to life by Santa to be his helper and to bring joy to all those that encounter him.
Eventually Maison Blanche changed hands and became part of the Dillards chain. Today you can find Mr. Bingle merchandise on the Dillards website as well as in some of the Dillards locations.
So, there you have it. Another NOLA Christmas tradition unwrapped.