An unnamed mom in Plymouth, England, says she’s being ridiculed online for calling Santa Claus “Father Christmas,” instead of a gender-neutral equivalent, PlymouthLive reports.
The mother says she was discussing a kids’ Christmas book in a Facebook group when she used the name — and commenters began ridiculing her for it, telling her to use “Santa” instead.
The mother claims that she was shamed on a Facebook group after referring to Santa Claus as Father Christmas. The woman told the outlet, “Santa is now seen as gender-neutral. I was only referring to the book ‘Father Christmas’ by Raymond Briggs, but it’s left me a little confused/on edge about what we are aloud [sic] to say.”
Hundreds of parents have taken to social media to share their views on the gender-neutral Santa Claus debate.
Some defended the mom’s name choice.
“Father Christmas is fine!” another mom wrote in the group. “We have always used that in our family!! Use what YOU want.”
“Carry on calling him Father Christmas, it’s your choice,” responded another.
“It is Father Christmas, we are English not American! This gender neutral stuff is way out of hand,” he said.
“Seriously! He’s a guy, quite clearly a guy. I would have bitten back by calling him St Nicholas to be honest. The clue’s in the name, Nicholas not Nicola.”
The name Santa Claus is not as popular in England, where many Brits use “Father Christmas” or “Saint Nicholas.”
The mom who wrote ‘Father Christmas’ in the Facebook group, however, has decided to adopt the gender-neutral name. “I have a small child and don’t really want to raise him saying ‘Father Christmas’ if it’s hurtful to some,” she says.