Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Advent Blog Hop - 6th December

This is my favourite blog hop every year. Once again it is hosted by the lovely Jo, from  Serendipitous Stitching.  There is a blog entry each day for December 1 through 24.  Pop over to Jo's blog for the participant list.  My post is probably going in a bit early, because in my part of the world (Australia) we're a bit ahead of most other time zones.  Also, please excuse the formatting. It's all over the place, due to the fact that I am using my phone, and I haven't lesrnt how to control the appearance.

Our task this year is to show a Christmas or winter related item we have crafted, and to talk about Santa.  I spend a lot of time crafting Christmas related items, so I have lots to show and talk about, but I will try to show some restraint. 

The picture I have chosen for this year is my Christmas Tree. Usually I put up in various areas of the house five large decorated Christmas trees: two hanging dowelling trees, one decorated with angels, the other with Santas; a 7 ft tall 1970s tree decorated with dark red and gold; and two 6 ft tall 1980s trees, one with red and white decorations, the other decorated with ornaments and beaded angels I have made and just a few which have been made for me. This year has been such a sad and disruptive year for me that I really didn't plan to decorate for Christmas, but somehow a few things emerged from their hiding spots, and one of them was my 'handcrafted' tree.  I didn't actually make the tree, I have decorated it with my handcrafted items.   I didn't count the beaded angels as I was hanging them, but there were a lot.  Do enlarge the tree if you want to see my angels.

I don't have any specific family traditions involving Santa, but I collect Santas, particularly old Santas. Really, any traditional Santa with a nice happy face (and without a red nose) is welcome to retire in my house. I don't know when my love of Santa developed, but my favourite childhood memories are of Christmas Eves. My 5 siblings and I would sing Christmas carols for ages after we had been sent to bed. I do recall being sent from the classroom as a not quite 5 year old when I casually announced to my classmates that Santa was a lovely fairy story, but he wasn't real. So, my love of and belief in Santa is something that has grown over time.

I have some Santas who have spent over 40 years with me.  My oldest Santa dates from the 1930s, though he has only been with me for the past 30 years. He is close to 60cm (2') tall, and filled with straw. He's a bit tatty, but then so am I, and I'm not quite as old as he is.

My biggest Santa is way taller than me.

He had seen a lot of Christmasses before he came to live at my house about twelve years ago, and needed quite a bit of tender loving care. He used to hold an old Christmas tree with a couple of parcels, but I wasn't able to resuscitate it, so I replaced it with a stocking and a vintage bear. He is one of my all-time favourites, and has a lovely face. He is a great favourite with visiting children.

These tall Santas always bring a smile to my face. I collected them from different places over many years. The three stocking holders at the front are extra special for me because tbey were given to me by my late mother in the mid 1970s.

My most elegant Santa is also one of my most travelled Santas.  I found him on Day 1 of my stay in San Francisco in 1994, and carried him around south western USA for a month before bringing him home to Australia. 

My White Santas are absolute treasures.  Usually at Christmas they reign over the sitting room but they have come down to my loungeroom, because the sitting room is a Christmas-free zone this year. These Santas are all about 90cm (3') tall. Santa at the back is standing on a box so I can see all three Santa faces from my recliner.

Santa on the front left has been with me since I bought him new in the late 1980s. The front right Santa is the same age, but only came into my life 10 years ago, rescued from a garage sale. The Santa at the back is about 20 years younger than the other two, but just as lovable.  I found him abandoned in a park and didn't have to think too hard about giving him a home. 

This year I have put a lot of my vintage Santas, and a few other special Santas in a display cupboard in the loungeroom, and I have set up my small collection of Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Santas on top of the cupboard.

I could talk about these Santas for days, but I will spare you that.  Suffice to say I could tell you where and how I obtained each one, and that each one is very special to me.  All of these Santas started out with other families, and I wonder about the stories they could tell if only they had the gift of speech.  Not all my Santas are in perfect condition, but that's OK with me. They don't have to be perfect to be loved in this house.

I hope you and your loved ones have a happy Christmas and a healthy and contented 2024.