Today's Christmas memory is about Santa Claus.
Growing up Christmas decorations were a big deal in our house. My Mom decorated every space available and still does. During the year her hutch in the dining room holds tea cups and tea pots that belonged to her both of her grandmother's. However the only time they come down is at Christmas and the spaces are filled with smaller nativity scenes, special ornaments hang from the knobs of the higher draws, and other smaller decorations of the season.
I believe the most treasured of the Christmas decorations in my Mom's possession is the Santa Claus that was hand painted by my grandfather, George K. Rueff. He painted Santa in 1941 for my Mom. On the back is the story of the painting, the date and it is signed by my grandfather. My Mom was four years old when Grandpa made this Santa.
This picture of Santa is still hung every year in my parents home.
My Mom started all of us girls a Santa Claus collection of our very own about 20 years ago, maybe longer. I have probably 20 to 30 different Santa's. They are all different too. Some are musical, some light up, and some are ceramic while others are porcelain. They all hold memories of Christmases past and I look forward to the day when I can share their stories with our grandson, Easton. There are way to many to photograph so I picked just a couple to share.
This is my very first Santa Claus. I have had him for as long as I can remember. He is at least as old as I am and I am now 53 years old. He lights up too! His right knee has melted from the light bulb that was originally used. A couple of years ago my husband Tommy put a small strand of LED white Christmas lights in him so that the plastic no longer gets hot as it once did. They just don't make Christmas decorations like this anymore. Hopefully this Santa light will last several more years so that I can pass him on to Easton or I can find one for his very own.
I have always been a big fan of Santa Claus! As children on Christmas Eve after opening our family gifts we would go outside and lay out carrots for Rudolph and his team of reindeer. One of my parents would ask, "does anyone see Santa and his sleigh?", of course I always answered yes! Back inside, my siblings and I would set out a plate with our favorite cookie on it and a glass of milk beside it, ready for Santa Clause when he got to our house.
I loved seeing Santa Claus at the mall and as a small girl would take him my Christmas wish list of presents. In the picture below, I am about 2 1/2 years old sitting on Santa's lap.
Me with Santa Claus. I am about two and half years old.
Editor's Note: I am reusing photos from last year's ACCM and portions of the original post.