Difference between Santa Claus and Father Christmas

Key Difference: Santa Claus is described as a big-bellied man with a white beard and a pair of glasses. He is considered as a jolly man that dons a red coat lined with white fur. Father Christmas has a British origin and is a figure that was originally associated with Christmas during the 15th Century. In today’s world, Father Christmas and Santa Claus have been merged together.

Santa Claus has become an icon that is often used to represent Christmas. However, Santa Claus wasn’t always Santa. He was originally a Priest named Saint Nikolas. The Priest was a man who liked to do good deeds and help the poor and needy. The current Santa is a variation of this man.

Santa Claus and Father Christmas are now considered as the same person, although originally they were different people.

Santa Claus is described as a big-bellied man with a white beard and a pair of glasses. He is considered as a jolly man that dons a red coat lined with white fur. He travels on a reindeer-driven sleigh and on the midnight of 25 December he delivers gifts and presents to the good children around the world. The gifts are made by Santa and his elves in Santa’s toy factory in the North Pole.

On the other hand, Father Christmas has a British origin and is a figure that was originally associated with Christmas during the 15th Century. Although originally not addressed as father, a carol attributed to Richard Smart, Rector of Plymtre represents Christmas as "Nowell", "Sir Christemas" and "my lord Christemas". Father Christmas is not associated with distributing gifts to the children, but rather he is believed to bring the news of the birth of Jesus Christ. Additionally, he is believed to encourage everyone to eat and drink: "Buvez bien par toute la campagnie,/Make good cheer and be right merry."

The rise of Puritanism led to the condemnation of pre-Reformation traditions and in response to the debate, supporters personified Christmas as a kind old man that brought good news. They started calling him as "Old Christmas" or "Father Christmas". The appearance he dons is credited to Thomas Nabbes, who described Christmas in “The Springs Glorie” as, “an old reverend gentleman in furred gown and cap”. Father Christmas’ character is associated with feasting, hospitality and generosity to the poor rather than the giving of gifts.

In today’s world, Father Christmas and Santa Claus have been merged together. Now, Santa Claus in addition to bring presents for children is also responsible for bringing merry and cheer to all the people.

Comparison between Santa Claus and Father Christmas:

 

Santa Claus

Father Christmas

Origin

United States

United Kingdom

Other names

Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle Santa

Pere Noel, Papa Noel, Padre Noel

Appearance

Big bellied jolly man with a long beard. He wears a red coat with a black belt and red boots, with a long red hat.

A large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur.

Date of Celebration

25 December

25 December

Associated

Bringing gifts to little children

Bringing the Christmas spirit

Image Courtesy: poohadventures.wikia.com, greentulip.co.uk

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