December 22, 2011, by Andrew Burden

22 December: Father Christmas

Father Christmas

Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St Nicholas – whatever you call him, he’s an essential part of today’s Christmas festivities.  This image from the Briggs Collection is entitled ‘Old Father Christmas’ and is from E Bond’s Leaves from a Christmas Bough (London, 1897).

While this illustration may be instantly recognisable as the Santa we know today, there have been some significant image changes over the years. That’s why we decided to put the big questions regarding the North Pole’s most famous resident to Dr Alison Milbank from the Department of Theology and Religious Studies:


If you can’t see the YouTube video, try this alternative link or view on iTunes U.

All of the items featured in our e-Advent calendar are from the University’s historic library holdings, held in Manuscripts and Special Collections. For more information on the wide range of materials available, take a look at their website and blog or contact the curators on

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Posted in Christmas contextManuscripts