Front cover of an early edition of Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas Goes on Holiday.

Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (ISBN 9780241892206) is a children's graphic novel of thirty pages, written and illustrated by the British author Raymond Briggs. It was first published in 1975. It is a sequel to Briggs' 1973 book Father Christmas.

The book's title character and protagonist, who lives in an ordinary house in what appears to be a provincial English town, decides that he needs to take a vacation. He travels to France, Scotland and Las Vegas, Nevada. He finds that each destination has its advantages and disadvantages. Father Christmas[1] is keen to blend in wherever he goes and to pass incognito. He leaves each of his three vacation destinations shortly after a child recognizes him.

In common with Briggs' previous book about Father Christmas, there is very little written dialog in Father Christmas Goes on Holiday. Furthermore, a significant amount of the dialog which is included is in French without any translations or explanations. The story is conveyed mainly through the medium of pictures.

Some parents may be shocked by the book's depiction of Father Christmas drinking, smoking, gambling, cussing, enjoying the company of attractive young women and having to use a toilet.


Father Christmas decides that he needs to take a vacation but has difficulty deciding on where to go. He eventually decides that France is the ideal location. He converts his sleigh into a flying mobile home which his reindeer can pull, learning French from a cassette while he works on it. He flies to a camp site in the French countryside. Being keen to blend in with the locals, he buys a beret and a striped jersey. Father Christmas is disappointed that ketchup and chips[2] are not on the menu of the restaurant which he visits. However, he does enjoy a large meal there. Unfortunately, he gets bad indigestion later and has to make several trips to the camp site's outhouse.

When a child recognizes him as Père Noël, Father Christmas decides that it is time to leave.

The next destination that Father Christmas visits is Scotland. Once again, he attempts to blend in by wearing the national costume. He enjoys the scenery, the whiskey and the music but finds the weather terrible.

When a child recognizes him as Father Christmas, he decides that it is time to move on again.

Wanting to go somewhere warmer, Father Christmas flies to Las Vegas. Instead of continuing to sleep in his flying mobile home, Father Christmas stays at the Nero's Palace hotel. He is delighted that the hotel serves huge portions of French fries and has no shortage of ketchup. He makes use of many of the hotel's amenities, including its swimming pool, its casino and its theater where show girls dance.

When a child recognizes him as Santa Claus, he decides that it is time to move on once more. After receiving his enormous hotel bill, Father Christmas is left without the means to travel to any further destinations and has to head home.


The 1991 animated TV special Father Christmas, which first aired on Channel 4 television in the United Kingdom on December 24, 1991, is based on Father Christmas Goes on Holiday and on Raymond Briggs' earlier book Father Christmas. The animated cartoon is largely faithful to its source material, although it places the events of the 1975 book Father Christmas Goes on Holiday before those of the 1973 book Father Christmas.

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  1. Most British children today consider Father Christmas and Santa Claus to be one and the same, although they were originally two different characters.
  2. Chips in the British sense of the word, meaning French fries.

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