"[50] This representation is considered by the folklore scholar Peter Millington to be the result of the southern Father Christmas replacing the northern Beelzebub character in a hybrid play. "[14], The stage directions to The Springs Glorie, a 1638 court masque by Thomas Nabbes, state, "Christmas is personated by an old reverend Gentleman in a furr'd gown and cappe &c."[10] Shrovetide and Christmas dispute precedence, and Shrovetide issues a challenge: "I say Christmas you are past date, you are out of the Almanack. [2] He was dressed in a variety of costumes and usually had holly on his head,[2] as in these illustrations from the Illustrated London News: Charles Dickens's 1843 novel A Christmas Carol was highly influential, and has been credited both with reviving interest in Christmas in England and with shaping the themes attached to it. In Britain, people were said to stick to the older Father Christmas, with a long robe, large concealing beard, and boots similar to Wellingtons.[95]. "[25], Old Christmass Returnd, a ballad collected by Samuel Pepys, celebrated the revival of festivities in the latter part of the century: "Old Christmass is come for to keep open house / He scorns to be guilty of starving a mouse, / Then come boyes and welcome, for dyet the chief / Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, minc't pies & Roast beef". So just who is Father Christmas? But someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas, so in the UK, particularly in England, he became 'St Christmas', 'Father Christmas' or 'Old Man Christmas', an old character from story plays during the middle ages in the UK and parts of northern Europe. [18] In the hands of Royalist pamphlet writers, Old Father Christmas served as the symbol and spokesman of 'the good old days' of feasting and good cheer,[2] and it became popular for Christmastide's defenders to present him as lamenting past times. a good jeast, as if I could come more then once a yeare; why, I am no dangerous person, and so I told my friends, o'the Guard. In England, he has had three names: Lord Christmas, Old Father Christmas and Sir Christmas. [94], Differences between the English and US representations were discussed in The Illustrated London News of 1985. His children are identified as Roast Beef (Sir Loin) and his faithful squire or bottle-holder Plum Pudding; the slender figure of Wassail with her fount of perpetual youth; a 'tricksy spirit' who bears the bowl and is on the best of terms with the Turkey; Mumming; Misrule, with a feather in his cap; the Lord of Twelfth Night under a state-canopy of cake and wearing his ancient crown; Saint Distaff looking like an old maid ("she used to be a sad romp; but her merriest days we fear are over"); Carol singing; the Waits; and the twin-faced Janus. Father Christmas has a British origin and is a figure that was originally associated with Christmas during the 15th Century. Carol singers singing in the street. [78] Alternatively, the hostess could "have Father Christmas arrive, towards the end of the evening, with a sack of toys on his back. Then while under Saxon rule, this pagan figure morphed into King Frost (well known for visiting people’s homes during the holidays and if people were nice to him, it was believed that he would give them a present in … When will Santa arrive at your house? Modern dictionaries consider the terms Father Christmas and Santa Claus to be synonymous. In France, he was then known as 'Père Nöel'. [48][88], By the 1880s the American myth had become firmly established in the popular English imagination, the nocturnal visitor sometimes being known as Santa Claus and sometimes as Father Christmas (often complete with a hooded robe). Any residual distinctions between Father Christmas and Santa Claus largely faded away in the early years of the 20th century, and modern dictionaries consider the terms Father Christmas and Santa Claus to be synonymous. [83], It was not until the 1870s that the tradition of a nocturnal Santa Claus began to be adopted by ordinary people. Once upon a time, seasons in Gale Crater probably felt something like those in Iceland. "[84] On the other hand, when The Preston Guardian published its poem Santa Claus and the Children in 1877 it felt the need to include a long preface explaining exactly who Santa Claus was. By the late 18th century Father Christmas had become a stock character in the Christmas folk plays later known as mummers plays. [32] Hundreds of villages had their own mummers who performed traditional plays around the neighbourhood, especially at the big houses. [16] Its anonymous author, a parliamentarian, presents Father Christmas in a negative light, concentrating on his allegedly popish attributes: "For age, this hoarie headed man was of great yeares, and as white as snow; he entred the Romish Kallender time out of mind; [he] is old ...; he was full and fat as any dumb Docter of them all. "[3] Personifications came later, and when they did they reflected the existing custom. An 1852 play. ... they would not let me in: I must come another time! [67] Characters in the book include both Santa Claus (complete with sleigh, stocking and chimney),[67] leaving presents on Christmas Eve and—separately—Old Father Christmas. [2] According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (19th edn, 2012), Father Christmas is considered to be "[a] British rather than a US name for Santa Claus, associating him specifically with Christmas. He was often illustrated wearing a long red hooded gown trimmed with white fur. Registered Address: HeritageDaily, 41 Belsize Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, England. This is of course well known, and the master of the house does in reality place a Christmas gift secretly in each stocking; but the giggling girls in the morning, when bringing down their presents, affect to say that Santiclaus visited and filled the stockings in the night. [26], As interest in Christmas customs waned, Father Christmas's profile declined. “Sir Christëmas” – A contemporary carol attributed to Richard Smart, a Rector from Devon gives mention of Father Christmas where “Sir Christëmas” announced the news of the birth of Christ, encouraging listeners to drink in celebration. Seymour's illustration shows Old Christmas dressed in a fur gown, crowned with a holly wreath, and riding a yule goat. The International Santa Claus Collection 1992 Father Christmas - England. Father Christmas or Old Christmas, represented as a jolly-faced bearded man often surrounded by plentiful food and drink, started to appear regularly in illustrated magazines of the 1840s. ... Squire Christmas ... keeps a good House, or else I do not know of One besides." The name “Father Christmas” emerged during the 17th century as the personification of Christmas, surviving puritanical efforts to oust him with a resurgence in the Victorian age. 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