Father Christmas

Golfing Santa ClausFather Christmas is a name used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and several other Commonwealth countries and the USA, for the gift-bringing figure of Christmas or Yuletide primarily known as Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas. The same figure with the same name exists in other countries (in that country's language), such as France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Although the terms Father Christmas and Santa Claus are often used synonymously nowadays, historically the characters were different.

Father Christmas dates back at least as far as the 17th century in Britain, and pictures of him survive from that era, portraying him as a well-nourished bearded man dressed in a long, green, fur-lined robe. He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, and was reflected in the "Spirit of Christmas Present" in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

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