From our archives: Homage to Father Christmas and festive gift-giving of yesteryear

No festive season is complete for children without a visit from a bulky bearded figure in a red coat bearing gifts.

This week we pay homage to Father Christmas and festive gift-giving of yesteryear.

Santa may just be out of shot in this photo from the 1950s of the Lions Club's Christmas packs being distributed to a happy crowd of children (1).

A miniature santa is pictured on board a flying saucer in the grotto at Thetford in 1954 (2).

Some interested window shoppers take in the toys on offer in Thetford in Christmas of 1956 (3).

Santa arrives by vintage car to distribute presents in New Buckenham in 1962 (4).

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The familiar figure in the white beard is surrounded by children in Yarmouth at a party in 1964 (5).

Mr Kelf the chimney sweep ensures that the way is clear for Santa to deliver presents in this delightful shot from 1966 (6).

Santa visited Attleborough pre-school in 1968 and had almost finished his present distribution when our photographer captured the scene (7).

Sheringham was on Santa's itinerary in 1971, though we have no further details of this photo (8).

Father Christmas paid a visit to a store in Beccles in 1971 and our photographer captured this shot of the great man with two happy youngsters (9).

Santa makes a dramatic appearance at the Campbell's Soup Christmas party in King's Lynn in 1973 (10).