Father Christmas in Victorian Times Brightened Yule in Victorian Times – and Now!
Father Christmas is a the Victorian’s even more charming version of the jolly elf Santa Claus! And there was a perfect place for Father Christmas in the Victorian Christmas – as a giver of gifts for children!
Santa and Father Christmas come from very different places in our folklore .
Originally Santa Claus was believed to be “Saint Nicholas”, a fourth century Greek Christian bishop.
Father Christmas comes from old myths from the lands of the Druids, and the forest people. Don’t be deceived: Father Christmas was a pagan!
The Victorians were Christians for sure!
However, Father Christmas clearly demonstrates definitely pagan roots in the Victorian Christmas trees.
We have tended to blend the two stories.
Father Christmas is different from Santa Claus. And more exciting I think!
The Myths of Father Christmas – and the American Santa Claus have lasted through the years!
Ancient pagan deities such as Befana were known as gift- giving.
You can appreciate the beauty of a big elf who gave gifts to all in the coldest part of the year! Even if you are not a pagan.
If you try to interpret the the myth of Santa Claus, you will find Father Christmas in all his manifestations. Father Christmas might be shown riding on a goat, or with a wreath of leaves. He lived where the people did, not far off in fairyland somewhere! He did not live in the North Pole! Pagan people loved and feared nature, and those roots did not go away with the Machine Age.
Pagan roots were forced aside with the Christian Christmas. But the roots came out in times of celebration and custom.
There was a lot of fear about the pagan beliefs. Those fears included fear about fairies and witches as well.
The customs of Christmas that appealed to children have lasted the longest. We all love the idea of a wise old man who is looking out for our interests, especially kids.
Because he is so appealing to the family the clever elf that is Father Christmas is survived!
Father Christmas proved that the old ways will not go away that easily! He hales from the time of Yule, and is also called Father Winter, or the Holly King, who is Celtic Winter god by Pagan people.
Father Christmas came from many Supernatural Creatures all through Europe
Thor and Tomte were Norse gods who rode across the sky in a big chariots drawn by goats. Thor and Tomte gave children presents at the end of the year. That’s much like Santa Claus and those reindeer don’t you think? .
There were many Pagan folk deities from all across Europe. There is the Oak King that lived among the trees in the warm forests in the south, and who fell asleep when and falls into sleep while his brother of the cold. Or how about his brother the Holly King who was close to Father Christmas reigned over the world into fall and winter? The Holly King lived in the cold North, and could only survive there among the winter creatures. He brought his presence – and presents to the children at Yule time.
It is believed that European pagan people gave their children presents to celebrate the rebirth of the Sun, and it is not long from there to imagine a special giver of gifts that celebrated the promise of fertility, life and spring during the long harsh winters.
The Ancient myth of Father Christmas blended into the excitement of the new century to make Victorian Christmas fun!
Christmas up to the time of the Victorians had been a quiet celebration for adults. Most adults did not even get the day off, let alone want to spend it giving gifts to children! But when the British saw a picture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert celebrating Christmas with their family, the idea of it becoming a family celebration spread through the England. It seemed that they mystery of Father Christmas could penetrate even the most rational Victorian mind.
Poor Victorian grown-ups – now even their day of holiday and rest is busy! Oh, well maybe just have another Sherry Cobbler or Christmas Eggnog.
Father Christmas Christmas Tree Ornaments
Celebrate the Victorian Christmas in rare style by bringing Father Christmas into your home.
Here are some lovely Victorian Christmas tree ornaments that will help you create a Christmas that is beautiful and historic.
Hallmark did a whole series of Father Christmas ornaments, each unique and totally collectible. Collecting all of those versions of the Christmas elf could become a yearly Christmas tradition.
I have found other wonderful Victorian Christmas ornaments such as the Lenox Ebony visions Father Christmas that show the universality of this Victorian Santa.
Hallmark 2016 Christmas Ornaments Father Christmas #13Hallmark 2016 Christmas Ornaments African-American Father Christmas OrnamentFather Christmas and Owl Ornament 2015 HallmarkLenox Ebony Visions 2016 Father Christmas OrnamentHallmark QSM7767 African- American Father Christmas and Owl OrnamentHallmark 2012 Father Christmas Ornament #9German Stein Santa Claus Yule Father Christmas Saint Nicholas Tree OrnamentOld World Christmas Bountiful Father Glass Blown Ornament2007 Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornament Father Christmas #4 in the Series Qx7187June McKenna Christmas Ornament – 1997
The Enduring Presence of Father Christmas
Victorian times were historically some of the most interesting because of the contrasts, that seemed to bring us the best of both worlds. All across Victorian England and the European continent, the birth of the mechanical and industrial age was in full bloom. Amazing inventions and innovations in all areas of life from science to the home touched all people. After all, this was the era that gave us the telephone and the light-bulb.
Along with the newness of this scientific age, Christmas time was delightful because the Victorians still honored the Christian Christmas story.
But at the same time, the enduring presence of such a figure as Father Christmas showed that the Victorians still were firmly rooted to the land. The deep pagan love of the trees and the seasons could not be suppressed
Everything came together to bring the fun and wonder of the Victorian Christmas.
Father Christmas still keeps giving us gifts today!