But the rest of the museum was keeping the festive spirit alive.

The museum’s recreation of a Victorian Street, Kirkgate, has been decked with holly and decorations, carols fill the air and street vendors are selling traditional gifts.

Mince pies made from an authentic recipe can be tasted in the Kitchen Studio while the Jacobean Room has recreated a full Christmas banquet from the period. Most importantly, Father Christmas is in residence in his grotto.

Martin Watts, director of life-long learning at the museum, said: “We have made the museum the ideal place to get into the Christmas spirit. Father Christmas will be here for children to tell him their Christmas wish list and to receive a traditional gift. They can then discover the best historic recipes for mince pies and look at Christmas through history in the period rooms.”

Residents with a York Card can get into the museum free, although a visit to Santa costs £6. Santa is in residence every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm and every day from December 19 to 23.