Collecting: Santas

Santa resting at my house before the big night!
Santa resting at my house before the big night!

I love Santa Claus!  Not because I care more for gifts than the true meaning of Christmas. Rather, I love Santa because he is cute, happy and a jolly good friend.

A tiny Santa that livens up my kitchen windowsill.
A tiny Santa that livens up my kitchen windowsill.

My Santa collection began in the 1990s.  Like all my collectibles, they are for my personal appreciation, not a financial investment.  Like all collectibles, they require storage space, upkeep, and maintenance.  So for me, I go for smaller Santas, which take up less space.

A keepsake from my time at Harvard! A very stately Santa ornament.
A keepsake from my time at Harvard! A very stately Santa ornament.

Most of my Santas are ornaments and figurines.  I do have a few pillows, pieces of jewelry, and a Mrs. Claus outfit.  Archie, our Westie, has a Santa outfit as well (though I haven’t tried it on him yet).

My mom owned, and I inherited, a large stuffed Santa that has been known to get into some mischief (Diane and Markeda).  There are photos, but I will never share them!

When I travel, I look for a Santa ornament that represents the area, such as a lighthouse with Santa standing next to it that I purchased in Maine.  Or a Santa in swim trunks that I purchased in Hawaii.

This glass Merck Santas have their own shelves in my Christmas closet.
This glass Merck Santas have their own shelves in my Christmas closet.

One of my favorite Santa collectibles are the Merck family blown glass lights.  Each year this company issues a themed Santa which usually stands about 12-15″ tall and is lit internally with a small bulb.  I have collected 14 on my travels and on eBay.  They look gorgeous in a huddle, all lit up.

A homemade Santa and his elf hanging out on my mantle. My cousin Tina made these several years ago.
A homemade Santa and his elf hanging out on my mantle. My cousin Tina made these several years ago.

My first exposure to these Santas was while on a Christmas candlelight tour of homes in Jefferson, Texas.  The house where they were displayed had them lined up on top of an upright piano.  In the candlelit room, the Santas were breathtaking.  I had to have one!

A Santa jar keeps a watchful eye for naughty and nice behaviors.
A Santa jar keeps a watchful eye for naughty and nice behaviors.

My Merck Santas find themselves in different locations each year.  Last year, they were on top of two bookcases that flank my fireplace.  They have each gone on their own to different rooms in my house as well as done a line up on the fireplace mantle.  Maybe this year I will put them on top of my upright piano.

My mom always put this Santa out when I was little.
My mom always put this Santa out when I was little.

Some  of my Santas are old.   I found an old Santa ornament on eBay, another in our barn, and I have another that was my grandmother’s.  They all find their way into seasonal displays, the Christmas tree, or other locations where they can be enjoyed.

As a child, I remember fondly the small Santa mugs that my Aunt E displayed in her kitchen. She kept them out all year and used them as candle holders.  They made me smile!

Angels, crosses, teddy bears, whatever you enjoy gathering, please share.  Your collection will make me smile as well!

Even my Christmas dishes (Christmas Tree by Spode) have Santa atop the tree!
Even my Christmas dishes (Christmas Tree by Spode) have Santa atop the tree!

Update:  Archie doesn’t like to wear costumes!  It was impossible to snap a good photo.

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