Father Christmas and snowmen are icons of the festive period. We know that Father Christmas delivers presents to well-behaved children, and we know that snowmen are made out of snow. But where did they come from?
Where does Father Christmas come from?
Father Christmas can be traced back to Saint Nicholas. A bishop from Myra, an area in what is now modern-day Turkey, Saint Nicholas existed in the 4th century and made his reputation out of giving to the poor, particularly children.
The legend states that Saint Nicholas collected some gold and placed it in a bag, which he then dropped down a poor man’s chimney. Why this man? Saint Nicholas had heard that the man was unable to afford his daughter’s dowry, and so paid it for him.
According to this legend, the bag of coins fell into a stocking that had been left by the fire to dry – and that’s why we have stockings, too!
Why do we make snowmen?
It’s difficult to trace the origin of the snowman. However, a book by Bob Eckstein entitled History of the Snowman provides some good clues. Apparently the earliest recorded reference to snowmen can be seen in a medieval document, which can be viewed in the National Library of The Netherlands; but the meaning behind the image is unclear from the text.
Snowmen really became a phenomenon in the Middle Ages, when children were making them during snowy days as a form of entertainment. But adults actually got involved too – and took it pretty seriously. There were even outdoor galleries to showcase the different creations.
The association between snowmen and Christmas came to fruition through Prince Albert, who brought European holiday celebrations to Britain, and Hans Christian Anderson, who used his storytelling to make people fall in love with the magicality of snow people.
Bringing the magic of Father Christmas and snowmen to your home
This month on QVC, you can make your home or garden even more festive with these Father Christmas and Snowman decorations.
Not just any old decorations, these actually bob when touched or blown in a slight breeze, adding a bit of fun to your Christmas display!
Adaptable for indoor or outdoor use, they come with a securing stake which stops them from falling over in our British winter weather! They perfect for placing by your door or amongst your plants outside, and by your fire or around your tree inside your home.
Want to indulge that festive feeling? Find these cute little decorations on QVC here. Watch the video below to find out more!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.