Christmas is a season of joy and celebration for both children and adults. For grown-ups, it may have a more religious importance as it is the birthday of the son of God but, for children it is a wonderful holiday which brings them lots of gifts and cakes. Gifts are very important during Christmas and so are the gift-bearing figures believed to distribute gifts to children. Dressed in red and white, Father Christmas is one such popular gift giving figure in some English-speaking countries of the world and is synonymous with Santa Clause. He, just like Santa Clause, brings gifts for children and drops them in front of the kids' houses during night. Children usually writes letter to Father Christmas explaining him how they've been good throughout the year. Also, they ask for their favorite gifts through these letters. Traditionally, children throw these letters at the back of the fireplace from where these letters are then carried to Father Christmas by the chimneys. Read further to know more about Father Christmas.
Father Christmas Legends
Father Christmas appears in red attire with a trimmed white border, often girded with black belt and black boots and wears a long and floppy red cap on his head. He is an elderly man, aged about 70 years, has a gray beard and mustache and carries a large brown sack, full of gifts, on his back. Actually, it was Thomas Nast who created the red-suited Christmas Father. It is believed that he lives in the North Pole and that his elves make toys for Christmas.
Role In Christmas
It is believed that Father Christmas's elves make toys for Christmas and he fills these in a sack and distributes among the children. He travels on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. It is believed that he enters through the chimney of the house at night and keeps gifts for children in stockings or bags hung either near the bed or on the Christmas tree.
A Brief History
In England, Father Christmas was actually not part of Christmas, instead, he was associated with English Midwinter festival and was usually found dressed in green symbolizing the upcoming spring season. He never gave any gifts to children nor did he enter any home through the chimney. He just wandered from home to home, knocking on doors and having feasts. This figure gradually got attached to Christmas and became popular as Father Christmas. He represents the spirit of cheer and love during Christmas.
Poem On Father Christmas
This poem was written by Clement C. Moore as his Christmas gift to his children.
"He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his Sack.
His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself."
Father Christmas, as is obvious, derives highly from the common Christmas figure of Santa Claus. Both of them bring joy and gifts for people and make Christmas that much merrier.