So, early in my marriage I was at a garage sale, and I saw this old Santa in the corner. Turns out, it wasn’t even supposed to be for sale.
I asked, though, if the folks would be willing to sell it. They were, I bought it, and that was it–I’ve been on a quest for vintage Santas ever since!
One of my favorite parts of decorating for the holidays is bringing out my Santas and arranging them in new and fresh ways. I’ve shared before that one key to displaying collections, especially smaller pieces, is to GROUP THEM. That gives them more impact. (And I do hate to separate them. Which is why I need MORE!)
(No place is safe: my Santas find their way into every room in the house, even the bedrooms!)
Sometimes, though, a single piece begs to take CENTER STAGE. Then you can surround it with complementary items, as I did here over the fireplace, or (below) on a kitchen shelf, where Santa’s co-stars are Christmas crockery and mini pines.
I shop year round for Santas, even online sometimes, but I find that the best ones are at estate sales. I love hearing the history of a piece, like when a sweet grandma bought it original and kept it through the years! The story is almost as great as the find!
My new favorite is a recently-acquired pink Santa. I love the idea of a pink Santa at Christmas, and since I am a girly girl, pink is a go-to anytime! Apparently, I am not the only one, because (who knew?) pink Santas are highly prized! They were made only by a certain designer and can be pricey. I was shopping in an antiques store in Colorado and found one that was $300! Um, nope! Then not long ago I happened across one at Roundtop and nervously asked how much he was. The owner told me how coveted the pink ones are (Yes, yes, I know!) and said she couldn’t go too low on the price. I was expecting another quote in the hundreds, so when she said $45, I couldn’t snatch him up fast enough! Even though $45 is more than I normally pay for my Santas (I love me a bargain anytime), I decided that one was a steal!
Sometimes you want to MIX IT UP and let all your holiday treasures play together. What’s not to love about a red plaid in the winter? So my collection of red plaid picnic ware and Thermos bottles fits right in with all my Santas.
One great piece from your collection can add that special finish to your tabletop, like Santa’s holly jolly presence at my hot cocoa bar! If necessary to get your composition right, ELEVATE AN ITEM. Here, Santa perches on a little primitive stool so he can preside over the festivities.
I have been looking for Santas so long that now I have turned family members on to their appeal: on a recent shopping trip, we brought home more than a dozen Santas between the three of us! (See, honey, I told you they weren’t all mine!) I will keep collecting as long as I find great deals!
My favorite part is when I get a fantastic Santa and then find him later for someone else. Once I was shopping with my sister and mom, and my sister started gushing over an adorable Santa cookie jar–the same one I had purchased a few months before! My mom and I tried to hide it so we could get it for her birthday–but she bought it for herself at the last second! As she paid for it, we told her we had tried to secretly buy it for her. Then she almost put it back! It’s so hard to pull off a surprise when someone is right there. (She said she thought I was acting really weird. Turns out I am not a stealthy shopper, but if I play it cool next time, maybe I can pull off a surprise!)
I really love vintage plastic yard art and small table art. I am also drawn to vintage ornaments and have a growing collection of those. Truth be told, I really love any vintage Christmas, but I think the Santas look especially cheery. It’s hard to be a in bad mood when smiley Santa faces surround you!
Santas are a part of my Christmas traditions. What are YOURS?
I’m eager to share with you another post about my Christmas collections: do you know what putz houses are?? Stay tuned!
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