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9 December 2019, 15:35
The Plymouth woman admitted she was made to feel 'on edge' after being trolled on Facebook for not saying 'Santa'.
A mother has revealed she was slammed online for using the term 'Father Christmas' to describe the rosy-cheeked character as it was not a gender neutral name.
The Plymouth parent explained she was "shamed" on Facebook for failing to call the festive figure 'Santa Claus' instead, angering social media users who criticised her wording.
The unnamed woman admitted the trolling left her feeling worried and "on edge" as people lashed out at her use of the gendered term.
She said: "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.
"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 allowed to say.
"I have a small child and don't really want to raise him saying 'Father Christmas' if it's hurtful to some."
A recent study revealed that many parents prefer to call the jolly icon in the red suit 'Santa Claus' so as not to label the character male or female.
More than 15 per cent of the Brits surveyed said they thought an updated and more modern name should be used.
But it seems the festive debate has divided people online, with some disagreeing with the concept strongly.
"This is boarding on moronic and people need to have a quiet word with themselves," wrote one Twitter user.
Another put: "I am all for equality but where does this stupidity stop?"
While one dad said: "It is Father Christmas, we are English not American! This gender neutral stuff is way out of hand."
However, one user argued that Santa was easier to pronounce for children and avoided any offence issues.
She said: "I must be the only one who hates 'Father Christmas', I much prefer 'Santa/Santa Claus,' plus it's easier for littlies to say."