The Evolution of Father Christmas card


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Rudolph Zallinger’s iconic diagram, March of Progress, was first published in 1965. It was an instant hit. It told the story of man’s evolution from early hominid, through our great ape ancestors, to today’s homo sapiens: modern human beings. Taking ideas first popularised over 100 years prior, by Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, it condensed over 700 pages of scientific research into a simple and accessible piece of art: six figures, arranged left to right, telling the story of how humans came to be.

This card celebrates a different story of evolution: that of the modern figure of Father Christmas. Just like living things, ideas and stories evolve and adapt over time, too. They fit themselves to local contexts and by telling and retelling, pass on their best and most memorable traits through the ages. In the DNA of our modern red-suited gift-bringer is a rich story of winter customs and festivals dating back thousands of years.