Father Time was first mentioned in 1559 and appeared in a Thomas Nobbes illustration in 1638 but has been around in many cultures for thousands of years. He appeared in Greek/Roman mythology as part of a pagan week long Harvest Festival. During the Saxon Rule in England he was known as King Frost or King Winter. The Viking Era brought Jultid and Odin with ties to gifts and punishments beginning. English folklore shares his story dating back to after the English Civil War circa 1644. Mummer’s plays in Scotland, Northern Ireland and many English villages kept the story alive until the Victorian Era of the 1850s when Father Time and Father Christmas blended into the newly created Santa Claus mythos. By the late 1800s the popularity of Father Time/Father Christmas waned and faded into the background. Popular culture did remember him through the paintings of Goya, Ruebens and Norman Rockwell. Literature mentioned him in the works of C.S. Lewis, E.A. Poe, L. Frank Baum and even Dickens 1843 classic A Christmas Carol. A 1931 marketing decision by Coca Cola cemented the red suited Santa Claus image but local historical societies recall Father Christmas in educational programming fondly.
As December continues to wind down, please remember these holiday memories are still possible. May 2018 be your best year ever!
Lake County History Center – Tuesday thru Sunday hours allow visitors to witness over 60 decorated trees and rooms of holiday traditions. A Victorian Tea and other programs await you-check out lakehistory.org
Nativity Sets – Historic Kirtland- More than 400 displays await visitors. No charge, daily thru early January. Follow Route 306 south to the Mormon Community Village site.
Letters to Santa at the Old Stone School – a popular children’s event features Mrs. Claus at the 1840 site. Call 440-639-4650 for details.