Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, has a long association with the festive season. The original inspiration was a monk named St Nicholas, who was born in 280AD. The monk’s fabled generosity led to more modern characterisation, popularised in Victorian times. It is often falsely claimed that his famous red suit was down to Coca-Cola advertising, but in fact depictions of a red-suited Santa were seen in the late 19th century. Coca-Cola only started using the character in the 1930s.
What happens in Nellie’s stays in Nellie’s. The Elephant and Castle public house in High Street, Dumbarton, and some others with elephant connections. Hat tip to Carolynn Bowman, who was a fan of the old pub, which was a favourite for Christmas and New Year celebrations in days gone by.
Pope Francis urged the world to let the light of Christmas pierce the “darkness in human hearts” that leads to religious persecution, social injustice, armed conflicts and fear of migrants. In his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) Christmas Day message, the 83-year-old pope called for peace in the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Venezuela, Ukraine and several African countries caught up in conflicts.
“It’s absolutely wrong that the children of our armed service men and women face barriers in education. The Liberal Democrats want to remedy that through a new Armed Forces Pupil Premium so that those young people can get the extra help they need with their mental health as well as their work.