Santa Sentiments

 

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I was recently asked by a fourth grade child if I believe in Santa. My answer was, “Absolutely”! Santa Claus is one of my favorite things about Christmas. In fact, I think we need more “Santa Claus” these days!

Now, I didn’t always feel that way. In fact, I was scared to DEATH of the big ol’ elf dressed in red as a kid. Who can blame me? We tell kids not to talk to strangers, lock the doors, and then we turn around and make them sit on a stranger’s lap who will, on Christmas Eve, let himself in.

Pure fear, 1970-something. Love Santa’s 70s orange plush chair!

Pure fear, 1970-something. Love Santa’s 70s orange plush chair!

My mom would dress me up every December and stand in line, holding her breath that I wouldn’t burst into to tears before the photographer could snap a photo with me sitting on Santa’s lap. Decades later, my husband and I carried that scarring tradition on with our own daughter. (Audrey lost her fear of Santa around age three, and the photos I have of those childhood visits with Santa are treasured momentos).

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Christmas is my favorite holiday. For one thing, it gives “over-decorators” like myself a chance to really go for it, making every corner festive, fun, and glittery. In my holiday decorating, Santa shows up quite a bit.

The “original” Elf on A Shelf - Santa Toy circa late 40’s/early 50’s

The “original” Elf on A Shelf – Santa Toy circa late 40’s/early 50’s

But Santa’s more than just a decoration. Before elves were on shelves, there was Santa…always watching, reminding us that we should do what’s right, to be good and kind. The world could use a little bit more of that these days.

Santa’s reliable. He’ll always show up on Christmas Eve, no matter what. If the weather’s bad, he of course has Rudolph. (He also loves animals! You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals!)

Santa and Pip-Squeak

Santa and Pip-Squeak

Santa is giving. I found the perfect, sentimental gift for someone special this year. I am so excited about giving it, I’m about to burst! (I would share, but that special someone reads the blog)! However, “giving” isn’t just a wrapped gift, the gift of friendship and joy is the best one you can pass on!

“Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane
He doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, he loves you just the same
Santa Claus knows we’re all God’s children, that makes everything right
So fill your hearts with Christmas cheer, ’cause Santa Claus comes tonight”
          ~Gene Autry

Santa is love. If you believe in him, he believes in you. As an adult, we get to see Santa’s magic more than just Christmas Eve. I’ll be honest, 2018 is a year my family wouldn’t want to repeat. We’ve had lots of ups, and great things happened, but also have had our fair share of downs, with illness, stress, death and loss. Just this Black Friday, when we traditionally decorate for Christmas, we spent the day at the vet, having to put our beloved pet bunny, Patches, down. The holiday spirit we had felt so strongly the day before diminished.

Christmas spirit returned during the week in a wonderful card- the first Christmas card of the season- that came in the mail from a Farmgirl in another state. There was such a sweet hand-written note inside. It was like a hug in the mailbox – Christmas magic!

 

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Santa’s been around for a long time. Sometimes, he’s pictured thin with darker clothing like on the old Santa book I found this summer, published in 1897.

Santa was a bit more serene in 1897, From the cover of “The Santa Claus Story Book” by Mclauglin Bros.

Santa was a bit more serene in 1897, From the cover of “The Santa Claus Story Book” , Mclauglin Bros.

My favorite images of Santa are the ones from the late 1940’s to the 1960’s.

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Round, smiling brightly and always jolly, the Santa found in vintage decor has the most charm. The “Coca Cola” Santa is also from that period. How can you not love someone who’s always smiling? Happiness is contagious!

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When I see a smiling Santa, I think of happy childhood anticipation on Christmas Eve, the delight of twinkling lights, the silliness of puppy-dog kisses, the joy of finding handwritten letters and cards in the mailbox, the wonder of Christmas through a child’s eyes.

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There’s woodland Santas, and versions of Santa from around the world, dressed in different colors or outfits, with different names. “Santa Claus”. “Pere Noel”. “Papa Noel”. “Julemanden”. Whatever he is called, whatever he’s wearing, the jolly sleigh-riding elf, also known as “St. Nick” is recognizable. He transcends cultures, age, and language. He’s Christmas magic…friendship, peace, warm feelings of joy, “Hygge”- that is embroidered into the very fabric of the holidays, if we just look for it.

When I was getting older as a child, I’d question Mama if Santa was “real”. With an elvish grin, she always answered, “Santa is the Spirit of Christmas”.

Love is a big  ingredient in Christmas spirit! Here Santa makes an appearance in the kitchen. (I promised readers a glimpse of the dollhouse decorated for the holidays...here it is!)

Love is a big ingredient in Christmas spirit! Here Santa makes an appearance in the kitchen, checking out freshly baked cookies made with love! (I promised readers a glimpse of the dollhouse decorated for the holidays…here it is!)

Santa is the Christmas Spirit alive and well. Believing in Santa is believing in magic, miracles, love and all things good. He embodies what Christmas spirit truly is – happy surprises, spending time with friends and family, being empathetic and kind to our fellow humans, and the simple act of spreading joy. Who doesn’t need that?

From my family to yours, wishing you a holly-jolly, joyful and bright Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all good things to you for the New Year!

 

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

 

Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Marlene Capelle says:

    Happy Holidays to you and yours. Thanks for all the Santa.

  2. Julie says:

    LOVED your Santa Claus blog…It made me ” HAPPY” to read it… I really hadn’t felt the Christmas Spirit this year, UNTIL I saw your pictures and read your enthusiastic words about past Christmas memories…
    HOPE your Christmas is Merry…

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Julie! Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed my blog and that it made you happy – that makes me happy! I hope you have a very, Merry and Joyful Christmas! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Marilyn says:

    Thank You Nicole for this lovely post. My twin sister and I were afraid of Santa. When we were very small we waited in line for a long time. When our turn came we cried and refused go up to Santa. To get to Santa we were suppose to go through a little village and then get a gift from Santa. After waiting so long our late father said we are going to get the gifts,so he went through the village to the delight of all the spectators. Nicole sorry about your bunny. That book you have from 1897 is precious as is your dollhouse. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas and a Happy,peaceful 2019.
    Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, Merry Christmas! I love your story about Santa! I can just picture it all! My mom was also a twin, as were my grandmother and my grandfather. My Grandmother always dressed up my mom and aunt so adorably!

      We once waited in a huge line with my daughter to see Santa, only to have her “melt down” right at the steps up to Santa, lol.

      Thank you for your kind words. We are missing our bunny but happy to report that Pip’s condition has improved, thankfully.

      Thank you for reading and sharing, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Nancy says:

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

  5. Sandi King says:

    Merry Christmas Nicole and family; Happy New Year also. It should be a good one for all of us as things have been improving the last 2 years or so. Losing a pet is hard on everyone but there’s always joy when a new one comes for Christmas. I love to see the Christmas lights that people decorate their homes with; I have many lights this year just need to get them up and on; no tree yet; we always like to have a live tree we plant in the ground and I love to decorate them outdoors too. Maybe next year I can do it up great like I want to, with music. I loved all the Santa statues you have posted. My son and my father both have played Santa’s in the past for the children. They have always loved it to.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandi! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Your decor sounds beautiful. We also like lots of lights. We have the inside done; a few more things to do outside but it has been getting dark so early and it is so cold. We just need a few more strands of lights. We cut our tree at a local farm and got it up. It is tall and thin but beautiful and the branches are sturdy. It was the first time I have been able to put ALL the ornaments on. So far so good, as long as the kitties stay away. Love that your husband and son have played Santa. Mine used to go “Ho Ho Ho” on Christmas Eve outside my daughter’s window when she was little. So cute. Have a great holiday season, and thank you for reading and sharing with me! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. marjorie Panter says:

    My sister-in-law got me the Mary Jane magazine for my birthday several years ago and I love it!j
    When it comes, I set down and read every page right then, and, then I save every one of them!
    Best magazine I have!
    Have a Merry Christmas, and, a wonderful year!
    I just had my 80th birthday and it has been a wonderful year so far!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marjorie! Merry Christmas! And a very, very Happy Birthday! Welcome to “all things MaryJanesFarm”! I am so glad you visited here, and isn’t the magazine awesome? Wishing you a very wonderful year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Beverly Battaglia says:

    I love this picture of you with Santa so many years ago. You sent the one of you and I in front of our tree on Christmas morning to me when you were 5 years old. Love the Gene
    Autry song which I sang when I was a child. Love, Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mama! I just remember how terrified I was of Santa. Maybe because he was so large. Glad you liked the blog. Thank you for always making Christmas so magical. Love you! Nicole

  8. Vivian Monroe says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours as well. :)

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