Book Second, chapter 4
The merry troop of mummers is rehearsing in the Vye’s fuel house with Eustacia peeping at them through a hole in the wall. Two of the mummers are described as having “darker habiliments” (attire). One is the doctor. The other is Father Christmas.
The Leech or Doctor preserved his character intact: his darker habiliments, peculiar hat, and the bottle of physic slung under his arm, could never be mistaken. And the same might be said of the conventional figure of Father Christmas, with his gigantic club, and older man, who accompanied the band as general protector in the long night journeys from parish to parish, and was bearer of the purse.
Santa carries a club? The “conventional figure of Father Christmas, with his gigantic club“?!
No wonder my niece used to be terrified of mall Santas. Have you ever heard of Kris Kringle carrying a club?