Father Christmas – United Kingdom World Showcase Storytellers Epcot
Many wonderful Christmas traditions originated in the countries of the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each have unique holiday customs, and many of these have been shared worldwide. Well known Christmas carols such as "Deck the Halls", and "Here We Come a Wassailing" were first sung in the United Kingdom.
The tradition of Christmas cards also began in the United Kingdom. In 18543, John Calcott Hoarsely sent a card depicting an English family brimming with cheer to his friend Sir Henry Cole. The original card caught the attention of a British giftbook company, which published a thousand lithographed copies and sold them for a shilling each.
Not surprisingly, the hanging of mistletoe is one of the United Kingdom's oldest and most popular traditions, dating back to the Druidic ceremonies of the winter solstice. Each time a kiss was claimed under the mistletoe, the young man would pick off one berry. The kissing would end when all the berries were gone!
For children, Father Christmas, with his long white beard, green robe and a crown of holly, is still treasured as the jolly gift-bearer who brings holiday joy to the well-behaved.