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Cover Photo of Article: Father Christmas

Father Christmas


Hannah Slapper

Whether you call him Father Christmas, Père Noël, Grandfather Frost, Santa Claus or good old St Nick, you’ve got to agree that he’s one of the best men you’ll never have the pleasure to meet. Although he’s the epitome of an elusive catch, he’s still a generous gent and his many forms all share one similarity: bringing joy to the world.

WHY WE LOVE HIM

-       The thing he’s most famous for is giving gifts to children, globally. It takes a special kind of guy to fall down someone’s chimney and leave presents to under-18’s without it being creepy, but he manages to pull it off.

-       He’s got a great appetite. The traditional ‘Father Christmas’ figure of Great Britain was less about material goods, and more about festive cheer. He encouraged feasting and drinking, roast turkey and lashings of wine. Why else do you think we leave him mince pies on Christmas Eve? He’s insatiable!

-       Excellent taste in clothes. Often depicted in a red suit, trimmed with fur, sometimes made of velvet, with black leather accessories: he could not be more on trend if he tried. Well done, Santa.

-       The Norse god Odin, who would apparently fly around the sky during the celebration of Yule Tide and throw gifts into people’s houses, inspired Father Christmas’ antics. Obviously he totally outdid his fellow immortal with some flying reindeer. You can’t beat that.

-       He’s the only man to say ‘Ho Ho Ho!’ in a non-derogatory way.

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FACTS 

-       Santa can be contacted all year round, and he will reply. His address is as follows: Father Christmas, North Pole, H0 H0 H0, Canada. He prefers (legible) handwritten notes to emails.

-       Many people think that Coca Cola’s advertising policy is the reason that he wears red, and that traditionally he wore green robes. In fact, the first depiction of Father Christmas wearing his signature rogue can be seen in Thomas Nast’s 1930’s illustrations, which massively predate Coca Cola’s characterisation.

-       The 1934 song ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ popularised the idea of Santa Claus giving toys to nice children only (naughty ones would receive a lump of coal, if they were lucky)

-       Thanks to his snowy address, he has enjoyed official Canadian citizenship since 2008.

THINGS WE DON’T KNOW BUT ASSUME ARE TRUE

-       He and Mrs Claus go to an all-inclusive resort in The Maldives for their annual summer holiday.

-       His tipple of choice is eggnog in winter months, and a crisp pomegranate gin & tonic from May through to August.

-       He has a pet penguin called Clark Kent (known affectionately as Super)

-       His white fur is made of Maltese puppies.

-       He fucking hates Starbucks red cups.

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