Friday, December 9, 2016

Our Christmas Collection

Laurie and I have a sizable collection of Christmas ornaments and sundry decorations.  They range from an ornament that David II made when he was about 9 years old (many, many years ago!) to a big artificial tree, a number of wreaths, door knob hangers, window lights, tree lights, holiday candles and Christmas stockings.  In addition we probably have over 500 ornaments ranging from the simple to the ornate and from the new to quite a few antique items…

In addition, we have quite a few Santa Claus figures.  There is a box or two of small porcelain, glass or pottery figures, plus windup musical Santa Claus’s.  In this blog posting I’ll be sharing part of our collection, especially focusing on some Santa Claus miniature dioramas/creations that we purchased when I was working at Montgomery Ward’s headquarters in Chicago back in the 1990s. 

Even before our purchases while I was with Montgomery Ward, Laurie and me acquired this handsome stylized Russian Santa Claus at a gift shop near Rockford Illinois…

Laurie has a collection of Teddy Bears and these 4 are appropriate for the season.  The wooden Santa Claus was also purchased in Illinois.  He originally had wheels…long gone now.

This was probably the first of the ‘diorama’ style Santa’s that we purchased.  It’s simple but even so, there is a fair amount of detail to absorb if one really looks it over carefully.  GO CUBS!

This Santa with a Saint Bernard and sleigh is on our fireplace mantle.  Note the detail and complexity of the scene with all those presents, the harness on the dog and Santa’s scarf.  All of these creations were imaginatively conceptualized and painstakingly assembled by a former Human Resources Vice President at Montgomery Ward. 

Here’s an overview of our mantle and you can see the previous 2 Santa’s in the center and at the right of the photo.  Another nice Santa from a different source is at the left.  Note the Christmas stocking at the left.  My mother made that for me about 70 years ago…

Here are 2 other acquisitions from that Montgomery Ward artist.  The Santa was purchased elsewhere but the little rug covered with presents and that loaded wagon are both miniature examples of her work.  Her name is Judy Gustafson.   Her boss Bob who was the EVP of HR and I used to see who could buy up the best examples of her work.  (For some ‘unknown’ reason he usually succeeded in buying the best Santa’s!)  

This miscellaneous grouping of Santa’s is on display on an antique Eastlake Desk in our foyer.  All of the Santa’s were purchased in various shops in the upper Midwest but the little toy box in the front and the loaded sleigh are Judy’s creations…

Finding space to display this JG creation with the horse and big sleigh is a challenge.  This is one that I managed to grab before her boss had a chance to snatch it up!

Every Christmas season, we would have a big arts and craft show and sale in the lobby of one of the Montgomery Ward corporate buildings.  There were cloth creations, watercolors, oil paintings, quilts, etc. and Judy’s Santa’s.  It was a fun event…

You can’t really appreciate Santa, his horse and sleigh until you look closely at his cargo.  Judy must have had a mini-warehouse for all these bits and pieces in order to put all of these miniatures together…

Here is a view of the other side of that loaded sleigh of goodies.  It even contained food items and tools, not to mention that spinning wheel.

Another loaded sleigh with Santa…  Note the little bunnies next to the sleigh.  Some lucky child (with unfortunate parents) is getting a drum for Christmas!

Then there is Santa on snowshoes trekking through the snow covered landscape to deliver his gifts.  His escort is a big black bear who provides a little extra security on their march through the wilderness…

Again it’s all about the details!  Santa’s backpack is loaded with candy canes and all kinds of toys…

That’s almost it for our special big Santa’s… This is our new large ‘flat’ table top Christmas tree.  It is about 1 foot deep and 4 feet wide and it came with permanent lights.  We are done wrestling with our giant tree and it took way too much space out of our living area.  The only downside to this small but festive tree is that we could only put a hundred or so ornaments on it!

Note: That handmade ornament, (a horse), that our son made with paper, glue and 2 different colored beans is in the midsection of the tree and slightly to the left. (It is 38 years old this Christmas!)    

This is an overall view of our fireplace with its Christmas themed mantle and hearth next to our new Christmas tree…  Note one more attractive Santa Claus at the right on the hearth.  It was a gift from our son and his wife several years ago. 

That’s about it for now… We hope that you enjoyed looking at part of our Santa Claus collection.  FYI, beginning today, there are only 16 days until Christmas!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave and Laurie


  1. How beautiful and festive, Dave! I absolutely love everything in your photos! Thank you so much for sharing. It all looks so heartwarming and pretty. :)

  2. Wow! those are a lot of ornaments and your christmas tree looks very festive. I like it!!

  3. David and Laurie, what beautiful Christmas collection you have!!
    I love Christmas !! xoxoxox

  4. This is a terrific collections of Santa and they are each one quite unique. If I had to chose I don’t know which one it would be, maybe the one with the horse or the bear as they are so different from what one usually sees. Your house is nicely decorated for the season. I think this year all our decorations will stay in the garage, unless I get to them to give many away while I am cleaning up for the move. Jim does not know what season it is and no one will be visiting anyway. I read books with stories happening around Christmas to put me in the holiday spirit. Enjoy the season.