Touchstone Magazine’s December 2007 issue has an article by Michael Ward about the Chronicles of Narnia which appears to show the unity behind the books. Included is an explanation of why Father Christmas appears in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The appearance of Father Christmas in this story has become a lightning rod for criticism of the Narnia Chronicles. It is taken as evidence of Lewis’s slapdash compositional style. Tolkien thought that Lewis had carelessly assembled figures from incompatible mythological traditions: children fresh from E. Nesbit, a Snow Queen out of Hans Andersen, dryads and naiads from classical tradition, and—forsooth!—Santa Claus from popularized hagiography. …
Is Joviality the kappa [hidden] element of the first Narnia Chronicle? In his university lectures, Lewis described the Jovial character as “cheerful and festive; those born under Jupiter are apt to be loud-voiced and red-faced.” He would then pause and add: “It is obvious under which planet I was born!”—which always produced a laugh.
If the hidden inner meaning of The Lion is Joviality, then how appropriate to include Father Christmas: Red-faced, loud-voiced, and jolly, he is, in popular culture, the Jovial personality par excellence. And how appropriate that Peter, when he gets through the Wardrobe into Narnia, should exclaim “By Jove!”
Ward goes on to explain how the other six books relate to the mythology about the other six planets. Absolutely fascinating article.
Click here to read the entire article.