Mother shamed online for using the term 'Father Christmas' for Santa Claus as it is 'not gender-neutral'
The mom said she did not want to make such a mistake again if it was "hurtful" and asked for clarification on the right term to use.
A mom has revealed that she was criticized and ridiculed online for using the term 'Father Christmas' to refer to Santa Claus as it's not gender-neutral.
The mom, from Plymouth, said she was "shamed" in a group on social media site Facebook after discussing a children's Christmas book and talking about 'Father Christmas' instead of 'Santa Claus,' which is reportedly the preferred gender-neutral term, according to the Plymouth Herald.
She said the incident has left her feeling on "edge" and that she wants to ensure she doesn't make a similar mistake in the future because she doesn't want to offend anyone who feels 'Father Christmas' is a "hurtful" term.
"I've just been shamed [on a Facebook group] for using the name 'Father Christmas' and [told] that 'Santa' is now seen as gender-neutral," she said. "I was only referring to the book below ['Father Christmas' by Raymond Briggs] but it's left me a little confused/on edge about what we are aloud [sic] to say."
"I have a small child and don't really want to raise him saying 'Father Christmas' if it's hurtful to some," she added.
Many online users quickly leaped to her defense, with one mom saying, "Santa is so American, Father Christmas here and will always be Father Christmas. It's always a man."
Another dad similarly said, "It is Father Christmas, we are English not American! This gender-neutral stuff is way out of hand."
"Father Christmas is fine! We have always used that in our family!! Use what YOU want," a third posted, while another added, "Carry on calling him Father Christmas, it's your choice."
Indeed, 'Father Christmas' is the most common term used by Britons to refer to the children's idol, while those living across the Atlantic in the U.S. prefer the term Santa Claus. However, 'Saint Nick' and 'Saint Nicholas' is also commonly used by many families on both sides of the ocean.
One mother seemed to argue that Santa Claus was the better term because it was easier for the children to say. "I must be the only one who hates 'Father Christmas', I much prefer 'Santa/Santa Claus,' plus it's easier for littlies to say," she said.