Christmas Characters

Christmas is personified in numerous and sometimes ambivalent ways because of the overlapping beliefs in different countries. These personifications vary depending on socio-cultural context or differences in economic situations.

The Christmas custom of mythical or religious characters distributing gifts and candy to children is found in France, as it is in Canada. Three main characters can typify these generous givers of gifts.

For children the world over, belief in the existence of "Père Noël" or Santa Claus took on such importance through media coverage that it found expression from the 1970s on in letters addressed to Santa at his residence at the North Pole. Canada Post Corporation was soon obliged to set up a special program to reply to the enormous amount of Santa Claus mail as a result of this phenomenon.