Is Father Christmas losing the battle against Santa Claus?

I s Father Christmas losing the battle against Santa Claus? (Picture: Getty)

When it comes to the man in the red suit, what do you call him?

If you’re a fan of Father Christmas rather than Santa Claus, you might want to look away right now.

It seems that the former’s days are numbered, and pretty soon he’ll only be known as Santa.

According to figures from YouGov Omnibus, obtained during a poll last year, half of people (51%) say Father Christmas, while just over a third (36%) say Santa or Santa Claus, while the remainder of people ‘don’t know’.

But perhaps more worrying if you’re a Father Christmas fan is that younger people favour Santa – meaning we could soon see the original moniker dropped.

When it comes to those over 65, two thirds (66%) say Father Christmas compared to just 25% who say Santa Claus.

Yet for 18-24-year-olds that is almost reversed, with one third (33%) calling him Father Christmas compared to half who say Santa Claus.

Younger people tend to prefer the name Santa to Father Christmas, according to YouGov statistics (Picture: Getty)

The name given for the man in red also varies according to region, with 82% of Scots calling him ‘Santa’ rather than Father Christmas.

The topic is up for debate on the latest episode of Britain is a Nation Of…., a new podcast by Yahoo News UK.

It’s not known why the generational shift is happening, though ‘Father Christmas’ is believed to be more traditionally British, first appearing in the mid-17th Century, while ‘Santa Claus’ – based on the Dutch name ‘Sinter Klaas’ came later.

Last year the National Trust banned the use of the phrase Santa Claus in favour of Father Christmas because it is ‘more British’, saying the former is an ‘Americanism’.

To hear more unpacking of statistics about British people, listen to the full episode above, or download it on Apple Podcasts, Acast, or Spotify to listen while on the go.