A mother has been slammed online after saying Father Christmas instead of Santa as it's not gender-neutral.
The UK mum said she was "shamed" on a Facebook group when she brought up Father Christmas while discussing a Christmas book — instead of using Santa which is a preferred term for parents.
Many were not pleased that she used the male pronoun and left comments that made the mother-of-one feel on edge.
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"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," she said.
"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 aloud [sic] to say.
"I have a small child and don't really want to raise him saying 'Father Christmas' if it's hurtful to some."
The debate has caused controversy online, with some not happy with the one-sided pronoun.
"I must be the only one who hates 'Father Christmas', I much prefer 'Santa/Santa Claus,' plus it's easier for littlies to say," one parent said.
However, others disagreed, saying that Father Christmas is a popular UK term, where Santa Claus is too American.
"Father Christmas is fine! We have always used that in our family!! Use what you want," one said.
Another agreed: "It is Father Christmas, we are English not American! This gender-neutral stuff is way out of hand."
In New Zealand, the most popular term for the person in red is Santa.
Last year, a gender-busting Santa Claus was on display at Auckland's Ponsonby Central.
Dressed in fishnet stockings, holding a bag and umbrella, this jolly statue pushed the stereotype of the traditional male Santa Claus.
In a touch of luck, the statue went up the same week Simon Bridges created controversy by saying: "Mary Poppins is a woman, Santa Claus is a man. That's how it should be."
"You guys this morning are telling me that man didn't walk on the moon, now you're telling me Santa's a woman - I just want a few things I can believe in," Bridges told The AM Show.
The creators said the new "Mary Poppins Santa" was set to put a fresh perspective on the gender diversity conversation.