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Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. Nicholas made his first inroads into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century. In December , and again in , a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. The background of the engraving contains now-familiar Santa images including stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace.

Stores began to advertise Christmas shopping in , and by the s, newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements, which often featured images of the newly-popular Santa Claus. In , thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model. In the early s, the Salvation Army needed money to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families. They began dressing up unemployed men in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to solicit donations.

Those familiar Salvation Army Santas have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since. It is Nast who gave Santa his bright red suit trimmed with white fur, North Pole workshop, elves, and his wife, Mrs. Nicholas-inspired gift-giver to make an appearance at Christmastime. Similar figures were popular all over the world. Christkind or Kris Kringle was believed to deliver presents to well-behaved Swiss and German children.

Nicholas on his holiday missions. In Scandinavia, a jolly elf named Jultomten was thought to deliver gifts in a sleigh drawn by goats. Pere Noel is responsible for filling the shoes of French children. Later, she felt remorseful, but could not find the men to undo the damage. To this day, on January 5, Babouschka visits Russian children leaving gifts at their bedsides in the hope that one of them is the baby Jesus and she will be forgiven. In Italy, a similar story exists about a woman called La Befana, a kindly witch who rides a broomstick down the chimneys of Italian homes to deliver toys into the stockings of lucky children.

The red-nosed wonder was the creation of Robert L. May, a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store. In , May wrote a Christmas-themed story-poem to help bring holiday traffic into his store. This noted that one of the chief features of the American New Year's Eve was a custom carried over from the Dutch, namely the arrival of Santa Claus with gifts for the children. Santa Claus is "no other than the Pelz Nickel of Germany He arrives in Germany about a fortnight before Christmas, but as may be supposed from all the visits he has to pay there, and the length of his voyage, he does not arrive in America, until this eve.

From advertisements began appearing in UK newspapers for a new transatlantic passenger service to and from New York aboard the Eagle Line's ship Santa Claus , [61] and returning visitors and emigrants to the UK on this and other vessels will have been familiar with the American figure.

The Legend of St. Nicholas

A Scottish reference has Santa Claus leaving presents on New Year's Eve , with children "hanging their stockings up on each side of the fire-place, in their sleeping apartments, at night, and waiting patiently till morning, to see what Santa Claus puts into them during their slumbers". What will Santa Claus bring us?

A Visit from St. Nicholas was published in England in December in Notes and Queries. The Stocking of the title tells of how in England, "a great many years ago", it saw Father Christmas enter with his traditional refrain "Oh! His dress "was a long brown robe which fell down about his feet, and on it were sewed little spots of white cloth to represent snow".

The blurring of public roles occurred quite rapidly. He wore a great furry white coat and cap, and a long white beard and hair spoke to his hoar antiquity. Behind his bower he had a large selection of fancy articles which formed the gifts he distributed to holders of prize tickets from time to time during the day Father Christmas bore in his hand a small Christmas tree laden with bright little gifts and bon-bons, and altogether he looked like the familiar Santa Claus or Father Christmas of the picture book.

Nicholas himself. During the s and 70s Father Christmas became a popular subject on Christmas cards , where he was shown in many different costumes. An illustrated article of explained the concept of The Cave of Mystery. In an imagined children's party this took the form of a recess in the library which evoked "dim visions of the cave of Aladdin" and was "well filled The young guests "tremblingly await the decision of the improvised Father Christmas, with his flowing grey beard, long robe, and slender staff".

From the s onwards, Christmas shopping had begun to evolve as a separate seasonal activity, and by the late 19th century it had become an important part of the English Christmas. Sometimes the two characters continued to be presented as separate, as in a procession at the Olympia Exhibition of in which both Father Christmas and Santa Claus took part, with Little Red Riding Hood and other children's characters in between.

In the well-lighted window is a representation of Father Christmas, with the printed intimation that 'Santa Claus is arranging within.

Father Christmas - Wikipedia

Even after the appearance of the store grotto, it was still not firmly established who should hand out gifts at parties. A writer in the Illustrated London News of December suggested that a Sibyl should dispense gifts from a 'snow cave', [76] but a little over a year later she had changed her recommendation to a gypsy in a 'magic cave'. He must have a white head and a long white beard, of course. Wig and beard can be cheaply hired from a theatrical costumier, or may be improvised from tow in case of need.

He should wear a greatcoat down to his heels, liberally sprinkled with flour as though he had just come from that land of ice where Father Christmas is supposed to reside. The nocturnal visitor aspect of the American myth took much longer to become naturalised. From the s it had been accepted readily enough that presents were left for children by unseen hands overnight on Christmas Eve, but the receptacle was a matter of debate, [78] as was the nature of the visitor. Before Santa Claus and the stocking became ubiquitous, one English tradition had been for fairies to visit on Christmas Eve to leave gifts in shoes set out in front of the fireplace.

Aspects of the American Santa Claus myth were sometimes adopted in isolation and applied to Father Christmas. In a short fantasy piece, the editor of the Cheltenham Chronicle in dreamt of being seized by the collar by Father Christmas, "rising up like a Geni of the Arabian Nights Hovering over the roof of a house, Father Christmas cries 'Open Sesame' to have the roof roll back to disclose the scene within. It was not until the s that the tradition of a nocturnal Santa Claus began to be adopted by ordinary people. Folklorists and antiquarians were not, it seems, familiar with the new local customs and Ronald Hutton notes that in the newly formed Folk-Lore Society , ignorant of American practices, was still "excitedly trying to discover the source of the new belief".

In January the antiquarian Edwin Lees wrote to Notes and Queries seeking information about an observance he had been told about by 'a country person': "On Christmas Eve, when the inmates of a house in the country retire to bed, all those desirous of a present place a stocking outside the door of their bedroom, with the expectation that some mythical being called Santiclaus will fill the stocking or place something within it before the morning. 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.

From what region of the earth or air this benevolent Santiclaus takes flight I have not been able to ascertain By the s 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. So to bed my bairnies dear. Representations of the developing character at this period were sometimes labelled 'Santa Claus' and sometimes 'Father Christmas', with a tendency for the latter still to allude to old-style associations with charity and with food and drink, as in several of these Punch illustrations:.

Any residual distinctions between Father Christmas and Santa Claus largely faded away in the early years of the new century, and it was reported in , "The majority of children to-day It took many years for authors and illustrators to agree that Father Christmas's costume should be portrayed as red—although that was always the most common colour—and he could sometimes be found in a gown of brown, green, blue or white.

Father Christmas's common form for much of the 20th century was described by his entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. He is "the personification of Christmas as a benevolent old man with a flowing white beard, wearing a red sleeved gown and hood trimmed with white fur, and carrying a sack of Christmas presents". In an editorial in The Times opined that while most adults may be under the impression that [the English] Father Christmas is home-bred, and is "a good insular John Bull old gentleman", many children, "led away The classic illustration by the US artist Thomas Nast was held to be "the authorised version of how Santa Claus should look—in America, that is.

Father Christmas appeared in many 20th century English-language works of fiction, including J.

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Tolkien 's Father Christmas Letters , a series of private letters to his children written between and and first published in In , Raymond Briggs's two books were adapted as an animated short film, Father Christmas , starring Mel Smith as the voice of the title character. Modern dictionaries consider the terms Father Christmas and Santa Claus to be synonymous.

The name carries a somewhat socially superior cachet and is thus preferred by certain advertisers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Christmas character of English folklore and myth. For the correspondingly-named character in other countries and languages, see List of Christmas and winter gift-bringers by country. For other uses, see Father Christmas disambiguation. Christmas-associated figure originating in England. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 January The English Year.

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London: Penguin Books. The Rise and Fall of Merry England. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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A Dictionary of English Folklore. The Stripping of the Altars. Archived from the original on 12 January Retrieved 12 January The Renaissance in Europe: A Reader. The Stations of the Sun. Costumes and Scripts in Elizabethan Theatres. University of Alberta Press. Leeds: University of Leeds BA dissertation. Archived from the original on 29 January Retrieved 14 January Archived from the original on 31 December Bullen, AH ed. History Today. Archived from the original on 15 January Official parliametary record. Archived from the original on 27 January Retrieved 16 January Quoted in Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, , ed.

Archived from the original on 28 January Retrieved 23 December Thomas Day Last. Archived from the original on 30 December Retrieved 15 January London: G Horton. Archived from the original on 26 January Bonus points if they are a legit mad scientist.


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Questa è la notte di Santa Lucia

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