Father Christmas's English Origins Father Christmas was a totally symbolic character from his early days until the nineteenth century. He was more of a Christmas icon than a legendary figure. He was frequently portrayed as a cheerful old guy who presided over joyful celebrations, rather than a gentle giver of gifts. This image changed around 1823 when the musician and composer John Stainer created some new tunes called "Carols by Candlelight". These songs with lyrics were set to music written by Henry Fielding Turner. The songs became very popular and transformed Father Christmas into a benevolent gift giver who distributed toys to children on Christmas Eve.
English History Class: The Real Father Christmas? Yes, there are people out there who claim to be Father Christmas. Some of them even have websites where you can send money. But none of these people are Jesus or his son. The first recorded mention of Father Christmas in England was in 1532. He came from Germany to marry Queen Elizabeth I. The couple had three children but died within months of each other so no one knows what happened to the story line regarding Father Christmas and his wife/husband. In 1615, James I of England made Father Christmas part of the British culture by adding decorations to town halls and churches.
Why do Christians believe in Father Christmas? They don't! Actually, most people know that Father Christmas isn't real but they still believe in him because he has been part of Christmas for so long.
Father Christmas initially emerged during the ancient British midwinter rituals; at the time, he was recognized as a pagan figure who brought spring....
He had nothing to do with children, nor did he have anything to do with gift-giving, midnight visits, stockings, or chimneys. However, when later Victorian Christmases evolved into child-centered family gatherings, Father Christmas became a gift-giver.
The winters were long, harsh, and dark, and his ancestors were pagan figures who signified the arrival of spring. Father Christmas was traditionally dressed in a long, green hooded cloak with a garland of holly, ivy, or mistletoe.
For much of the twentieth century, Father Christmas's most popular form was detailed in his article in the Oxford English Dictionary. He is described as "the embodiment of Christmas as a friendly old man with a flowing white beard, dressed in a red sleeved robe and hood trimmed with white fur, and carrying a sack of Christmas presents." This modern image has become so associated with Santa that many people think he must always be like this, but he doesn't have to be old and bearded.
The earliest known picture of Father Christmas is a wood engraving by Henry Morley published in 1823. He wears a long white beard and carries a sack over one shoulder. His other hand rests on a headstone containing the words "Here lies what was once alive". Some scholars believe this image is based on a real life character called "Father Christmas" who lived near Rochester in Kent. Others say he is a fictional character created by the artist to sell more books.
Santa first appeared in Germany where he was known as "Der weise Christo für dummköpfige Kinder" which means "The wise Christ for stupid children". He soon became associated with Christmas because of the huge number of gifts he gave to young girls. By the late 1800s, he had become known as "der kleine Stollenihnus" which means "the little Stollen-man".
In the 1850s, the famous American myth of Santa Claus came in England, and Father Christmas began to take on Santa's qualities. By the 1880s, the new rituals had become entrenched, with the nocturnal visitation being referred to as both Santa Claus and Father Christmas.
The origin of the name "Santa" is not known for certain but may come from the Germanic name "Sinterklaas", which means "Saint Nicholas". The name was first used by Dutch children to refer to Saint Nicholas because he arrived on December 6, the day after Christmas.
As for Father Christmas, he has no real father because he comes from the North Pole where all the reindeer live. He just gives away gifts that other people have made for him.
Nowadays, Santa Claus visits us every year on Christmas Day, but he didn't always visit at this time. The first Christmas cards were sent out in 1843 by John Newell and Henry S. Tanner who lived in London, England. On their cards, they invited friends to send letters through them to a postbox located outside a pub they recommended. These letters would be left under a glass bell until Christmas when they would be collected by another employee of the company. This is how the tradition started of sending Christmas cards. In 1845, Samuel Woods sent out the first set of cards featuring drawings by Charles Sheeler.