To spread a little holiday cheer, I’m sharing my Santa Claus collection of figures, decor and tableware. Many were gifts, several are vintage, and others I made.
Dear hubby decorated the exterior of the house for Christmas, and has been helping me with the interior. Honestly, with my foot still in a walking boot, mostly I just point and say “please” and “thank you” a lot!
He’s been very patient, as I explain where my most treasured holiday decorations and dishes are stored. They’re spread across the basement, two floors and the attic; in cabinets, closets and boxes — even under beds!
Due to my limited mobility — and not being able to carry anything while I use a walker — I’ve had to scale back on decking the halls. Still, the house has a festive atmosphere, with a decorated mantle and live tree in the family room, and my Santa Claus collection prominently displayed throughout.
The best thing about my holiday decorations and tableware, aren’t the objects themselves, but the cherished memories and nostalgia they evoke.
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Ho, Ho, Ho Happiness
Among my Santa Claus collection is this gorgeous needlepoint pillow with burgundy velvet backing.
It sits on a chair next to the grand piano, where our sons play holiday classics every Christmas Eve. The first song each learned to play was a single finger version of “Up on the Housetop.” They were just five years old and taking Suzuki lessons. Now, their repertoire includes everything from classic carols, to music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, to modern day classics like Somewhere in My Memory from Home Alone.
I already have the Christmas books and sheet music sitting out on the piano. Do you or any members of your family play the piano?
To share my Santa Claus collection, I’ve borrowed from Clement Moore’s, A Visit from St. Nicholas. After all, it’s the lines and illustrations from the classic poem that have contributed most to how people envision St. Nick’s appearance.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
Meanwhile, in the family room, four needlepoint stockings hang from the fireplace mantle.
Each of my son’s stockings feature Santa Claus’ merry face.
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there
I needlepointed one for each family member; when the boys were just infants. But, it took six to eight months to make one. Have you sewn, embroidered or needlepointed any holiday decorations or gifts?
I love how, every year, my now grown sons argue that their stocking is the best one of all, lol! Care to vote?
A large silver bell is tied with a ribbon to the boys’ stockings. One Christmas Eve, Santa tiptoed into each of their bedrooms. He left a bell on the nightstands to discover in the morning. Each sat on a piece of beautiful vintage-style paper, with a note detailing which of Santa’s reindeer’s harnesses the bell came from — Comet and Donner.
One of my favorite Christmas Day memories is my eldest son running breathless into our bedroom, with the bell clutched in his hands; overwhelmed with joy.
Appropriately, all four stockings hang from the fireplace mantle by a golden reindeer. See the mantel and other reindeer theme holiday decor in, Easily Refresh & Update Christmas Wreaths. Yes Virginia, Debbee has multiple holiday theme collections!
With a little old driver so lively and quick
Last year, I gathered together many figures from my Santa Claus collection on the dining room table. Most of the photo’s below come from that Christmas Eve centerpiece.
For his first Christmas, R’s godparents gave him this adorable music ‘ box.’ It plays, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” as the sleigh and reindeer circle around, and in and out of the building.
After all this time — and some wear — I still place it on R’s nightstand in his old bedroom. One day, I hope it brings the same sense of magic and anticipation to his children.
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick
Meanwhile, in youngest son’s bedroom is a set of nested Santa Claus figures. There are four in all in the Russian style, but only the outer one shown below.
Hubby brought the hand painted nesting set home from a business trip to Czechoslovakia. The Berlin Wall had only recently come down, and the country was one of the first to emerge as a democracy from behind the Iron Curtain.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot
Although designed as a tree topper, this elegant gold Santa Claus usually sits in the front entry hall.
He’s just too big for the Christmas tree in the living room. Plus, that spot is reserved for a vintage topper.
My dad bought the golden angel as a gift for mom. It was their first Christmas as a married couple.
So, she’s even older than yours truly lol!
In addition to the vintage and mercury ornaments on the living room tree, are another of my holiday collections. You can see them in Peacock Ornaments Decorate Christmas Tree.
I even have a Santa hugging a peacock; a combination of two holiday collections, lol!
You can see the angel in Decorate with Vintage Christmas Treasures. Many fragile St. Nick ornaments also adorn the same tree.
That includes the Santa Claus ornament from hubby and my first Christmas.
And, the large glass ball our son painted for me as a gift.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back
Hands down, the most cherished figure in my Santa Claus collection is this 1960’s era Napco floral container. My parents sent the holiday arrangement to me when I was in the hospital for appendicitis as a child.
Overflowing from his sack was a puppy made of white mums, with paws resting on a bed of holly.
Happily, I was released from the hospital that Christmas Eve. Ever since, I have treasured the Santa planter. Most years, I still fill his sack with fresh cut holly.
Several years ago I spotted this mini version at an antique store. Both are described as being decorated in “spaghetti” trim.
I grouped them with another vintage-style figure in my Santa Claus collection. He came from a post holiday sale at a favorite local florist.
You might remember it as the centerpiece on the Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve Table.
I styled the tablescape using red and white transfer plates. The Night Before Christmas pattern is made by Johnson Brothers. Each piece in the pattern includes a line and illustration from the Clement Moore poem.
I paired the dishes with my great grandmother’s etched crystal, and vintage napkin rings from my Santa Claus collection of tableware.
Aren’t they cute? I found them on Etsy in their original box.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry
Other vintage figures in the Santa Claus collection include two blow molds that light up.
Usually, I make a little vignette of the two at the bottom of the stairs in the basement entry from the garage.
About: Santa is 17 inches tall, and marked in raised plastic lettering around the plug hole, “Empire.” Empire made blow molds from the 1960’s until 1990. A search online of images for doesn’t generate any others like mine. All the red belted Santa’s are holding a wreath, bell or have a sack. I suspect mine is an older one from the 1960’s. I found it at an antique barn shop while Visiting Trax Farms at Christmastime.
They create a lovely, magical glow when plugged in.
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry
Also in our Santa Claus collection are handcrafted figures that are my husband’s favorites. This one is carved out of wood.
Each is totally unique, and were gifts from my brother-in-law and his wife. They frequent arts and crafts shows and I suspect the Santa’s were discovered on an outing.
Because of their smaller size, both figures work well in holiday vignettes around the house.
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow
My mother made this jolly little guy, with fly away white beard, for my eldest. For our youngest, she made a cute elf in green with jingle bells on his stocking cap.
Sitting next to him is a hand painted on wood Santa in the shape of an egg. They put a smile on my face.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
This pair of Santa and elf are made of plaster, and coated with glitter that make them sparkle.
I usually pair them in vignettes with white bottle brush and silver tinsel trees.
Like many of the figures and decor in my Santa Claus collection, they were found at Old Allegheny or Trax Farm.
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly
Many years ago, this porcelain St. Nick doll was a gift from Sister A.
He has a music box hidden inside, and plays “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Usually, I group him with vintage holiday tins full of Christmas cookies, biscotti, teas, coffee and hot chocolate fixings on the kitchen counter.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
Also found on a post holiday sale at Old Allegheny, are these Santa plywood standups. They are about four feet tall. Each St. Nick looks like an illustration from a Victorian Christmas card.
Santa on skates stands in the upstairs hallway. A perfect fit!
Oh and how I love this Santa with the decorated tree! Positioned in front of the grandmother clock, he greets visitors in the front hallway. Doesn’t he make you feel holly jolly?
Which decoration in my Santa Claus collection do you like best?
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
Unfortunately, I won’t be setting up the festive display this year. There’s just no way I could manage in the boot and using a walker. Even in a normal year, it’s a big job to put up and pack away all the Department 56 houses and accessories.
Hubby and I also had consider another factor in our holiday decorating — my son’s puppy. Bentley, a lab mix rescue, will be about four months old when we meet him. It’ll be the fast-growing and energetic pup’s first trip to Pittsburgh, and his first Christmas. We’re going to be under siege lol!
Santa Claus Brings Early Present
During an eight month search for a Scottish Terrier puppy, I experienced numerous disappointments and roadblocks. There’s a shortage of Scotties worldwide. As a result, many breeders will only sell puppies to people who contractually agree to show the dog and breed it afterwards.
It’s one of the reasons I decided to move forward and get the foot surgery over and done with.
Visiting with Pere Noel in a Christmas Card from Old Quebec City.
But, yesterday Santa Scottie delivered what I wanted most for Christmas. On the anniversary of Fibber’s passing, a litter was born near Cleveland, Ohio. A little brindle boy who will be ready to come home in February after all my therapy is over! I’m leaning towards naming him Whiskey (short for Glenfiddich, a premium Scottish brand), but name ideas are welcome!
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
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