Christmas is supposedly a season of peace on Earth and goodwill to all. However, a woman who hails from Plymouth in England claims to have been shamed on social media this week, after she used the term 'Father Christmas' and not a gender-neutral name.
According to a report by The Plymouth Herald, the unnamed mom told the paper that she was criticized by social media users in a Facebook group she joined for referring to Santa with a gendered nomenclature, with her detractors claiming that she was being offensive to gender-neutral or non-binary people.
The mother stated: "I've just been shamed [on a Facebook group] for using the name 'Father Christmas' and [told] that 'Santa' is now seen as gender-neutral."
She continued: "I was only referring to the book below ['Father Christmas' by Raymond Briggs] but it's left me a little confused/on edge about what we are aloud to say. I have a small child and don't really want to raise him saying 'Father Christmas' if it's hurtful to some. [sic]"
Father Christmas (as he is sometimes known in the UK) is usually depicted as an old man with a red coat or cape, a red hat or wood, with a white trimming, and a long white beard.Check out this trailer for Netflix's all-new Christmas movies:
However, the modern image of Santa stems from a real-life male historical figure. Namely Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek Bishop who was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. In one account, he gave three impoverished women generous dowries to help them escape a life of prostitution.
Children in the middle ages often exchanged gifts on Saint Nicholas' Day (December 6) prior to the reformation. Eventually, the figure of Saint Nick evolved into Santa Claus, the iconic character known by kids all around the world.