Skip to main content

Inventing Santa

Think of Father Christmas and chances are you'll picture a jolly bearded man wearing red and white suit but has he always appeared that way? Today Accredited Lecturer Alan Read talks to us about the origins of Father Christmas and how his image has changed over time, from the 4th century to advertisements today.


Our Societies support hundreds of local arts and heritage projects. Each day we highlight a grant given in 2021.  

Surrey Young Carers recently received support from The Arts Society Farnham to run two pottery workshops for young carers, giving them the opportunity to meet those in a similar situation and do something creative.

All donations from the Artvent Calendar will go towards The Arts Society’s grant giving fund, which awards grants to help preserve our artistic heritage, support the skills of artists and makers, and improve access to the arts for all.

Please click here to support projects like this one by making a Donation.



Hello Nadia, Thank you for your lovely comment. We're not finished yet though. We have so much we wished to share that we decided to continue Artvent until 31st December, so 6 more Artvent items to come. Continue to watch for our daily emails!
Merry Christmas!

editor Sat, 25/12/2021 - 12:00 Permalink

A fitting concluson to our journey through the Advent calender. Thank you to all presenters. It's been fun!

Nadia Ellis Sat, 25/12/2021 - 11:24 Permalink

Thank you so much to all of you who made this such a wonderful treat to start the day. A truly enjoyable and enlightening series of little gems. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

Mary Bradley Sat, 25/12/2021 - 10:52 Permalink

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas.
Many congratulations Artvent for producing this daily treat; always something there of enjoyment and interest for us all.

Margaret Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:51 Permalink

Living alone the calendar has been a treat to look forward to every day of Advent.
Thanks to everyone involved in its creators, and I hope it may become a regular Arts Society feature.

Pat Pollok-Morris Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:49 Permalink

Once again, a great suprise and very enlightening. Although I may be doomed, whenever Santa crosses my path, to think of Coca Cola (or, quelle horreur, vice versa ) I thank today's lecturer, the arts society, and my friend Carol who started me on this imaginative journey. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Ann Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:45 Permalink

Many thanks to everyone involved in creating this wonderful calendar. It has been a treat to discover a different surprise each day and I've been entertained, informed and cheered throughout a damp grey month.

Claire Robertson Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:23 Permalink

Hello Helen, Thank you for asking about grants awarded by The Arts Society. Grants are awarded for activities throughout the UK (& abroad - on Day 1 we mentioned a grant awarded by The Arts Society based in The Hague, Netherlands). We've highlighted some during the course of Artvent but there are many more. Local and Area Societies apply for grants for their areas and often highlight their work on their websites, so do check your local Societies. There is also information about grants and applications on the national Arts Society website here:

editor Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:02 Permalink

A lovely Christmas Day subject. I have really enjoyed this enlightening series, thank you so much!

Judith Keen Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:00 Permalink

A big thank you to all involved with the Artvent Calendar, great joy every morning to open, such a treat. Merry Christmas to all.

Marion Ford Sat, 25/12/2021 - 08:42 Permalink