Yes, Virginia . . .

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.    –Francis Pharcellus Church

IMG_4141Reading your blogs has taught me so much. One thing I’ve learned lately is that decorating for Christmas is a passion. I knew this on a theoretical level before but, now, having read about and seen so many of your decorations around the world, I understand it in a much more fundamental way.

Even those of us who could only be described as cultural Christians—non-religious now but having been brought up in religious homes, with lots of Christmas memories—find joy at this time of year in bringing out the crèches and other Christmas treasures.

And, when we decorate, many of us seem to focus around collections of meaningful objects and feature them in our homes.

For me, I love Santa. So, even when we don’t do the full-blown decorating of a big tree and the whole house, we always bring out our main collection at Christmas—these Santas that line the mantle.

Our Santas have been coming to us for over 20 years and are primarily from the line of Great American Collectibles Old World Santas. These are carved and hand-painted resin figurines, made in the US. A few new ones are released every year and depict, mostly, folk art-style Santas from around the world.

The first one of these Santas that we received Mickey, an Irish Santa given to us by a friend after we went to Ireland on our honeymoon.

We liked Mickey’s look so much, we’ve brought many of his brothers home over the years.

Many of the Santas have sweet animals with them, which adds enormously to their appeal for us.

Some of our Santas come from other places.

We have our Millennial Penn State Santa:

Penn State Santa

Penn State Santa

And our Santa from the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.

American Folk Art Museum Santa

American Folk Art Museum Santa

And we have Santas from garage sales!

3 garage sale Santas

3 garage sale Santas

These Santas sleep patiently in storage for most of the year, waiting to come out at Christmas and remind us of all the good that Santa Claus symbolizes—love and generosity and devotion. I believe in Santa! Do you?

32 thoughts on “Yes, Virginia . . .

  1. What a wonderful collection. It must be so much fun to welcome them ‘home’ each year. I would have a hard time packing them away. And, of course, I believe in Santa; who else eats that cookie and drinks that milk/whiskey on Christmas Eve?

  2. Great santa collection! Your Penn State santa made me chuckle.

    I also enjoy setting out creches and other old decorations. They are so rich with memories and each items has a story. One of the things on my “to-do” list for today is to set up the old creche that my family always displayed when I was a child.

  3. Beautiful collection! And yes, it’s fun to collect meaningful items to surround yourself with. I especially love the idea of building on Traditions which is what the Holidays spring from.

  4. Pingback: 246 Hours of Christmas Love | Love Those "Hands at Home"

  5. Your Santas are wonderful. I collect the Great American Old World Santas as well and now have close to 60. I just put them away last night . One of these years I may keep them out all year long.

    • Sixty!! Wow–that must make an amazing display! I put mine away yesterday, too . . . and felt kind of bad. They’re the greatest! Thanks for telling me about yours.

  6. Hi there. Yes, I believe in Santa, because he lives in Finland. 🙂 This post was wonderful!!! I have never seen Santa collections although in Finland man can meet him anytime, regardless of the season. If You do not mind I give link from my post to the:

    Arctic Circle in winter.

    The place is interesting and worth for a visit anytime.

  7. I think I may have blogged about my Santa collection at some point… This year when we were decorating the tree I decided that we could probably just hang the Santas and the nutcrackers and it would look great. And then there are the bird ornaments…
    I also collect snowmen and they are usually in the diningroom. I love them as well.
    I am looking forward to Santa delivering my toffee. ;-D

    • Your toffee should be on your doorstep soon–it’s on its way. I’m taking the last bunch of packages to the PO this morning and looking forward to some chocolate-free time!

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