|A flashing light went on in Social Services...|
|Mother's Darling Frederick Morgan|
Frederick Morgan was the purveyor of such bleak scenes of social realism, including this terrible image of the plight of children forced to share their amenities with animals...
|His Turn Next... (c.1915)|
Most children in our Western society will recognise the jolly old man in the picture and will believe with fervent passion that he exists (and possibly that he drinks Coca Cola). The Victorians linked children with Christmas because without hesitation children believed that the white-bearded man would bring them gifts if they had been good. Never mind all that 'saviour born in a manger' business, far more alive to them was a 4th century saint who filled their rooms with gifts, who actively expected good, 'Christian' behaviour on a yearly basis, and he would be grading the exam. None of that 'getting your reward/punishment when you die' malarky that adults believed in, Father Christmas was marking you as you went along, and if you were naughty, it wouldn't be burning in Hell you had to worry about. It was far worse: no presents.
|Santa got some contractors in...|
Well maybe, after all that, Frederick Morgan is just enamored with the cloying loveliness of children and pretty women in white frilly dresses, Lord knows he wouldn't be the first one. But just for a moment, dear readers, have a little dream that somewhere a man of mythic status, dressed in robes of red or green, trimmed in exuberant white fur that mirrors his long flowing beard, is loading up his sleigh, harnessed to large, beautiful flying reindeers who cloud the frost-ringed air with their patient breaths.
And on his list is you.
See you tomorrow.