There are many facets of folklore evident in
telling the story of Sir Christmas. He was essentially an English figure
whose lineage can be traced through years of changes in Christmas legends
and celebrations back to early pre - Christian times.
In early times he was not a Christian
religious figure, such as St. Nicholas, but he symbolized the arrival of
the secular pleasures associated with the Christmas season.
The Protestant Reformation raised several
problems for St. Nicholas, patron saint of Christmas. In 1647 it became
improper to celebrate anything having to do with Catholic saints and
observances of Christmas festivities were forbidden by government order.
This edict was revoked in 1660 and Christmas was restored
as a celebration for the common people;
however, royalty’s excesses were to be curtailed.
At this time, Sir Christmas became
Christianized and in the process picked up many refinement. He changed his
garb to meet the changing styles of clothing.
His task was not to bring gifts, but to
visit Home Pages of rich and poor alike, and to sit awhile by the hearth. His
visits were always welcome.