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Page 3 Profile: Father Christmas, annual giftgiver

Not a regular in the public eye this one.

No, though there are rumours Father Christmas might well be spotted this evening. He will visit seven billion people this evening, clutching presents. However, anyone who has behaved badly over the past 12 months is unlikely to receive any of the gadgets and gizmos they wanted. This bearded gift-giver is a shrewd judge of character.

Where is he locked away all-year then?

The North Pole. He has his very own grotto tucked away in the Arctic Circle, though he’s not on his own. He has a legion of elves, who beaver away in a workshop for 364 days of the year to craft and perfect all of those goodies you ask for.

Is his red face to match his red suit?

No, his red suit is actually a result of a marketing ploy by Coca-Cola, who began an advertising campaign depicting a red Father Christmas in the 1930s, and this has stuck. He was originally depicted in green, as a part of pagan winter festivals, where he represented the coming of spring. His long, green,  hooded cloak would  be worn with a wreath of holly, ivy or mistletoe and had the ability to cheer people up over the long winter months.

How does he actually get in?

Down the chimney, would you believe. And don’t expect him to leave with nothing either. A glass of sherry or mulled wine is often welcome, along with a mince pie or carrot for his reindeer. And for those modern residents relying on electric heating, he has a magical key to get into your chimney-less flat.

That’s your official briefing – now have a drink and get into the spirit of it.

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