Common Practice 012

Ho Ho Ho









Owen Kelly

Vera Vestmann Kristjánsdóttir



December 24, 2021


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Owen Kelly looks at a few of the common practices that occur in the Christmas season celebrations. Where did Santa Claus come from? How does he differ from Father Christmas? What does the Christkind have to do with any of this (and why does it sound like something from the Stephen Moffatt era of Doctor Who)?

We explore the development of the current incarnation of Santa Claus / Father Christmas during the nineteenth century, in parallel with the invention of shopping as a leisure activity and department stores as event-driven venues where shopping took place.

Finally we travel to Iceland where Vera Vestmann Kristjánsdóttir explains common practices there: including the thirteen Icelandic Santas, their use of potatoes as warnings, and the cat that hunts the coatless.






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