Thursday, December 24, 2009

HO - HO - HO

These are just two of the many hundreds of Santas that my mother collected over the years. She had traveled quite a bit so she had a veritable United Nations of Santas. Then, of course, we (her five daughters) couldn’t resist adding to her collection … which we did for many years. Each of those were carefully labeled with the date and the name of which girl gave it to her so that “he would go back to his rightful owner once I’m gone”.

And that’s just what we did after Mother died in 1988. We started dispersing her collection by claiming those with our names attached. Then we divided the rest of the collection by choice and I would estimate that we each came away with at least 50 Santas. This was the beginning of my own collection but my two favorites (the ones that I show in the pictures) still remain these from her original collection.

The bright red Santa is made of papier-mache and measures 14 inches high. He was a lamp base originally and I remember that when lit the heat from the bulb would activate the glass lampshade to rotate. It was mesmerizing to watch because it turned very slowly and as it did so it revealed a variety of winter scenes.

I can’t remember what caused the lamp to topple over but topple it did and the lampshade broke into a hundred pieces. We were, understandably, upset but my mother took it in stride. The next day she took the lamp parts out, worked her own papier-mache technique to patch the hole in his head and Voila! … he became the Santa that you see. I love his expression…he seems to still be in a daze over what happened !

The hand-blown glass Santa comes from Germany and is probably my most valuable one. He measures barely 3 inches from base to stopper and is filled with red water. It’s really a very sweet piece but the picture does not do it justice. I have only seen one other that resembles it and that was about ten years ago in an antique shop with a price tag of $275.

Of course that was interesting but there’s actually no way to judge the value of a collection like this … the memories alone are priceless.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

My goodness, she took her Santa collection very seriously. Marry Christmas to you, Ginnie.

5:41 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

What an interesting collection to have.
Hmm--just doing the math--your mother had quite a collection, didn't she.

On your previous post--yes, I know type was set by hand. What I am more struck by is that from the outset you were a career woman. You were ahead of your time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Very interesting Ginnie. You are right, the first Santa does look slightly dazed! The second one is very unique. I have many Santas as well, just not by choice. Some were gifts and some were handed down. I decorate one room with Santas and one with snowmen. Also not by choice! But I do love them all.
Love Di

5:49 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

An interesting collection. What makes it really special is the connection to your mother. It is a real thread in a family history.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Interesting stuff Ginnie. I like the story about the lamp. Good that your mother took the broken lamp in stride.

1:06 PM  

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