I am linking to Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive 365, where Natasha is featuring 12 Days of Christmas Traditions. The theme for December 5 is Father Christmas, Santa Claus or St Nick?
My first collection relating to Santa Claus was started in the 1980’s when I began to collect editions of Clement Moore’s A Visit From Saint Nicholas. Then in the last few years I have gathered a variety of Santas mostly from thrift stores. Actually, I named my Santa collection is the St. Nicholas Collection, in honor of Nicholas, who was the Bishop of Myra (born 280 A.D.). Myra, (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) is now Demre, in Islamic Turkey Tomorrow, December 6 is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. He is renown for his acts of charity and is held as the patron saint of sailors and others, and of many cities across the world.
The Santa we usually see depicted, however, got many characteristics from Moore’s poem and from illustrations for CocaCola by Thomas Nast (1840-1902). The name Father Christmas, I believe is mostly used in England.
This year I have most of my St. Nicholas figurines and other items on display in the study. An assortment of Old World Santa figures are on a top shelf. I wrote about these in an earlier post here.
Most of these wear long robes, some trimmed in white fur.
I've grouped several large Santas together on a chair next to the Santa Tree.
This one looks “Old World” with its velvet and fur garments. I bought it in about 1995 from a catalog. It is 13 inches tall.
This one is stuffed printed fabric and 18 inches tall. I bought one like this in the 1980’s for my sister, and found one for myself some years later.
Two plush Santas look very much like our current images of Jolly St. Nick.
This painted wood cutout is 16 ¼” tall.
At 15” tall, this soft and cuddly Santa is dressed in red and white knits and carries a felt wreath. Note his blue gloves.
The most unusual of this group is an African-American one I got at a local thrift shop after Christmas. It had been priced at $7.50, so at 50% off, it was then $3.50.
Sixteen inches tall, he is dressed in a brocade and velvet robe with fur trim. He carries a bag filled with gifts and a bottle-brush tree on his right shoulder, and a world globe on his left.
The ornaments are on a tree just in front of my desk, as described in the last post, Santa Tree.