Of all the Santas I have stitched, this one is my favourite, so I chose him to welcome you to Day 20 of Jo's Advent Hop. He is 'Jolly Old Fellow' from HAED (Gelsinger/Sayetta), and I stitched him between Jan 1 2009 and June 25 2012. During the year he lives on the wall of my dressing room, and at Christmas (typically from mid-November to 26th December) he moves down to the lounge-room. This year, for the first time in over 40 years, I have not decorated my house for Christmas, and so this year he is remaining in my dressing room, where he he has the company of 3 L&L Santas, L&L's Oh Christmas Tree, and 3 other stitched Santas.
I enjoy stitching Christmas projects, particularly Santas, angels, and Christmas ornaments. Over the past thirty years I have stitched well over 1000 Christmas ornaments. I have kept a few ornaments (predominantly Santas), but most have been given as Christmas gifts for children. This tree contains ornaments I made over the years for one family of four children. Actually, I got a shock to see that this photo was taken 9 years ago, so there are now another 36 of my ornaments on their tree.
I collect Christmas decorations, particularly older ones, and it is not easy for me to pick out just one special decoration to share with you. So, I have chosen just a few. The first is my vintage 1950's Christmas Tree. I was so very pleased when I found it about 12 years ago at a charity garage sale. Each of the branches is like a metal bottle brush, which fits into a hole in a wooden pole that forms the tree trunk. I decorate this tree with small treasures, many of which have been given to me, or which I have bought when travelling. The amazing thing is that when I was a pre-teen, my family had one of these trees, and I can recall that I didn't like it, greatly preferring the cut pine trees we had as Christmas Trees in previous years.
This next pic is my 1970s tree. It was the family tree of a work colleague, and a mutual friend rescued it from a skip when he was moving house following the death of his wife, and after the children had grown up and left home. I decorate this tree with burgundy and gold ornaments, and I put my gifts under this tree. On the wall behind the tree is a wreath I made, using an old cane base, branches from an old battered tree, and old Christmas ornaments I found in a charity shop.
I do have quite a few trees in my Christmas house, and this next one was made by my partner. It is my Angel tree, and it is made from doweling, and hangs on the wall from a picture hook. On this tree are some of the angels I have made, been given, or bought for myself over the past 40 years. I also have another larger dowelling tree, which I decorate only with Santas.
If I was allowed to keep only part of my collection, it would probably be my vintage Santas. Here are some of them, in and on the display cabinet. Many of these have been given to me over the years.
Although he has spent only the past few years with me, this Santa has seen a lot of Christmases. He needed some cleaning up and TLC when I found him (locally, on e-Bay), and I recycled the tatty Christmas tree and piles of gift boxes he was holding, replacing them with the 'welcome' sign I stitched. He is a bit over 6 ft tall. I like to think he spent his early life standing outside the toy department of a top quality store, welcoming children at Christmas. Here he is standing on the landing at the top of my stairs. If you stood at my front door and looked up, he would be the first thing you saw (last year, that is - this year he is shrouded in a sheet standing in my craft room, though I intend to pop upstairs now and remove his sheet, so I can enjoy his presence for the next few days, even if I do have to go to the craft room to do so). To Santa's right (on the door of the linen press) you can see some of my stitched ornaments; on the wall behind Santa you can just catch a glimpse of part of my Christmas jewelry collection; and to Santa's left are some of my Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Santas.
So, that is the end of my Christmas story for tonight. All my collection (Santas, angels, snowpeople, reindeer, and Nativities) and I wish you a happy Christmas. I hope 2017 brings for you and your loved ones a year of good health, good fortune, peace and contentment. Merry Christmas!