Britain’s National Trust has told Santa Claus to get back on his sleigh and get out of town, or at least out of the organization’s famous estates and homes.
He’s too American.
But the agency, which runs more than 300 historic buildings including homes, castles and forts, is keeping the jolly elf. They just want its events to use the proper British name of Father Christmas instead.
The Evening Standard said someone at the Trust accidentally emailed internal guidance on the matter to several members of the press.
“Can you change ‘Santa’ to ’Father Christmas?‘” the email said. “I know you’ve used ‘FC’ later on, but National Trust guidance is never to use Santa.”
Some U.K. media outlets called it a “Santa ban,” but the organization said that’s not the case at all.
“Contrary to any speculation, the National Trust is not looking to ban Santa, Saint Nick or Santa Claus,” The Telegraph quoted a spokesperson as saying. “We recognize the gift-giving, jolly man with the beard goes by many names all over the world, but we try to stick to one, and for many years that has been Father Christmas.”
Along with being more British, Father Christmas is also more in tune with the upper-class nature of the Trust’s properties.
Etiquette expert William Hanson told the Telegraph that it’s “lower class to call him Santa.”
Hanson added: “If you’re British or have Anglo-Saxon aspirations, then it’s Father Christmas and never Santa or Santa Claus.”
He said he was “buoyed” to see the Trust “speaking out and correcting this irritating and increasing Americanization of Christmas.”
While Santa is an Americanization, the origin of the name is actually from the Dutch term, Sinterklaas.