When it comes to the biggest characters of the Christmas season, you might initially think of all of your television favourites. After all, what Christmas would be complete without at least the possibility of sitting down in front of the TV - post-lunch - and enjoying a repeat of ET, James Bond, Indiana Jones or - shock horror - perhaps even Mary Poppins? There's Rambo too, but not until after the kids have gone to bed. Or perhaps the Queen comes to mind when one thinks of the most important faces of Christmas. After all, who hasn't tuned into to Her Majesty's afternoon slot, and - filled with a sense of pride - listened to what the Queen considers to be the most important highlights of the year that is now drawing to a close? There really are few Christmas Gifts more magical than that.
But, Christmas would not be complete without a few more heavy-hitters; the real A-List celebrities of the festive season. And the Big Daddy of them all is little Baby Jesus. Also known as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, Baby Jesus is a central figure of Christianity and a prophet of Islam.
Those familiar with the nativity story will know that Baby Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem and his mother was the Virgin Mary. Born in a manger because of a severe shortage of accommodation - presumably because it was hard to book in advance at this point in history - after his birth Baby Jesus was visited by the Three Wise Men, who are also known as the Three Kings or the Kings from the East. And it was from these men that he received the three Gifts of myrrh, gold and frankincense. Even today, Baby Jesus is associated with gift giving at Christmas time and with gift giving in the Czech Republic taking place on Christmas Eve, it is the duty of baby Jesus to make sure the Christmas Gifts are under the tree.
Santa is another one of the heavyweights of the season of goodwill. Although also known as Father Christmas, the two names actually relate to different traditions. But don't break the news to the kids quite yet. Depicted as a jolly but portly individual, Santa is mostly seen sporting a red outfit, trimmed with white - not forgetting the black leather boots - and is known across the world as the giver of Christmas Gifts. The history of Santa can be found in American culture, but he also has his origins in early Christian times, as well as Dutch folklore and even pre-Christian periods. Father Christmas on the other hand was originally the personification of the Christmas season and was not initially associated with the giving of Gifts. All that has certainly changed now...
Next in line is Rudolf. Also known by his full title Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, this friendly character is a member of Santa's sleigh-pulling entourage and an essential component of the jolly man's Christmas Gifts-giving process. Known for sporting a red nose, Rudolf works with a team of eight other reindeer who all possess the ability to fly (unless of course you come from Finland, where they don't). Needless to say, this cute Christmas character is entirely fictional, which could prove to be a crushing blow to children below a certain age; but then they'll have to be told the truth at some point.
Frosty the Snowman is another famous character from Christmases past and present. Often featured on cards and the wrapping paper on Christmas Gifts, the well-known song that we all associate with this cute little snowman was created by Steve Nelson and Walter Rollins. And their little gift to music came hot on the heels of that other well-known Christmas favourite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Frosty has also appeared on an animated short film and there was even a Frosty the Snowman television special, which was produced in 1969.
And for those who long to sing the song of Frosty, it tells a tale of a happy snowman, made from a corncob, a button and coal. Frosty was a man who, while made of snow, was able to dance and play with children. But ultimately he knew his fate and that his destiny was to be melted by the snow. However, before he left, he declared that one day he would return. Not much chance of that this year though, without a decent amount of snow.