The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 8

Interesting Literature

Yesterday, we delved into the seventeenth-century origins of Father Christmas as a figure associated with revelry and tradition. Here we could see the modern idea of Father Christmas beginning to emerge. But the red robes, the reindeer, and the sleigh had yet to materialise – partly because ‘Father Christmas’ and ‘Santa Claus’ were still Clement Clarke Mooreviewed as separate figures back then. It was in the nineteenth century that they would begin to be conflated, and it was one poem in particular that would invent much of our modern idea of Santa Claus.

Indeed, much of our modern idea of Santa Claus comes from a very famous poem, the 1823 work ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. More commonly known by its first line, ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’, this poem popularised the image of St Nick as a jolly fat man wearing fur-trimmed red robes (long before the Coca-Cola adverts popularised the…

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