In this article I’m going to look at the fascinating history of Father Christmas, and how the father Christmas we know and have to come love has changed over the centuries.
We all love him! That jolly man who fly’s around the world delivering fantastic presents to all of the children. I remember being in my grandmother’s house, huddled underneath the bed clothes as it was snowing outside and determined to stay awake so I could catch a glimpse of Father Christmas. And although I didn’t see him I heard the sledges bells outside and I was out of bed in a split second peering through the curtains, my 7 year old face pressed against the window pain. I did see reindeer’s flying in the sky but no father Christmas or was that an over active child’s imagination? Who knows but it was a lovely memory that I like to hold onto.
I must of sat at the window for about an hour and finally sleepy eyed I returned to my bed and was fast asleep. Needless to say I never saw him coming into my room to put the presents at the end of my bed and a stocking full of nuts, tangerines and other goodies. But I remember smiling to myself the next day as I checked the mince pies and the glass of whisky we had left him which had been ate and drank. I always wondered though how he got down the chimney from consuming all those lovely gifts everyone always leaves him but my mum could never answer that.
We know him as Santa Claus, Kris Cringle, St Nicholas. We associate him as a kind cheerful large man with white hair and beard plus red and white clothing. Although the Santas in American stores are not always depicted that way. However, did you realize the original father Christmas was dressed in green, had pagan roots and represented nature and good health. Earlier pictures depict him as lean. Fast forward and we are presented with a man who has changed his coloring of his clothes to red and too many mince pies and drink has caused his waste line to expand and as far removed as health as can be. How on earth could this happen?
In the 1920’s a certain American soft drink company whose products are ladled with sugar decided Santa should be dressed in red as part of a marketing campaign that has stuck. It makes you realize how powerful marketing can be when it can literally rewrite history and not necessarily for the better.
The healthier green lean Father Christmas represented spring and wore a green hooded cloak and a wreath of holly, ivy or mistletoe and had the ability to make people happier during winter months.
It appears that Father Christmas and Santa were two different people. To learn more about the history and how things came to be read more
I much prefer the green Santa as he fits in with what myself and my company stand for..being more eco friendly and looking after myself so I have the health and energy to build this new venture. I’m not perfect (I do love mince pies and as they say everything in moderation) but I am always striving to be better and like to surround myself with great role models. Who do you prefer the red Father Christmas or the green one?
Main image as featured by the BBC