Father Christmas

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 04, 2003

In Reply to: Father Christmas posted by Finbar on December 03, 2003

: After a recent argument about the origins of Father Christmas as he is known today - plump, jolly, clothed in red - I have discovered that contrary to one fokelore, this image was not created by Coca Cola in an advertising campaign begun in the 1930s.

: However, I have failed to find whether Coca Cola's use of the American ideal of Father Christmas in their advertising - a secret visitor on Dec.24 bringing gifts e.t.c - has in any way changed the Christmas traditions of other countries around the world - i.e the date on which they celebrate christmas, their conception of F.C., their tradition of giving e.t.c.

: I would be most grateful for any information concerning this topic.

: Many Thanks.

: p.s.

: I enclose the address of the site proving the original allegation to be a fallacy.

I have little to add, since I have no idea who first used the phrase "Father Christmas." But the article in Snopes.com failed to explain why St. Nick became a Christmas icon. When New Amsterdam was in Dutch hands, the residents looked forward to seeing a special cookie or pastry associated with the Feast of St. Nicholas of Bari. The Dutch in Holland got their cookies right away, on Dec. 6. But those in the New World had to wait until the ships from Holland arrived, after a voyage of about six weeks. They got to Nieuw Amsterdam in time for Christmas, so the residents could toast Santa Claus (as the Dutch for St. Nicolas sounded to foreigners like English-speakers). SS

Excuse me, I meant to say November 6. Mea maxima culpa. SS