I think that anyone who celebrated Christmas as a child may have had this book. Little Golden Books were put out by Western Publishing Company - the same company that published tons of comic books.
The edition I have is the 35th printing and is © Western Publishing 1979. I wonder when their first edition was published? If you assume that a new edition was printed each year for 35 years, that would make the first edition from around 1944. I also found something that the 1949 edition had printed on the title page which is missing from the 1979 edition I own. It is always good to see the hard work of the artist acknowledged, something often neglected by mass market publishers.