I’ve never been a “knick-knack” kind of person (at least not since I was a kid), but I’ve always liked the folk-art style painted Santa figurines. The first year we were married, my husband bought me one, and I liked it so much that it became a tradition. Every year since then it has become a challenge for him to find a new Santa that is in the same style, but still unique. And every year, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
We don’t usually decorate for Christmas until the week before, but the kids (and I) get so excited and impatient that I decided several years ago to take the Santas out on the feast of St. Nicholas each year. After all, he was the original Santa, so it seemed appropriate. And that way, we get a little taste of Christmas on December 6, but still retain the spirit of Advent by not bringing out all the other decorations.
My Santas also serve as a visual reminder of how long Jay and I have been married. Just seeing the growing mob of them up there on the mantle paints for me the picture of all that we’ve shared, from the early years in our little apartment with no money, to the more recent years of bursting at the seams in our current house.
Every Santa has a little sticker on the bottom indicating the year it was given to me. So each of the kids has “their” Santa, the one I received the year they were each born. They get almost as excited as I am to take them out and set them up. It’s a fun little tradition for all of us, and always brings back happy memories.