98 Santas and Counting

by Anna H. Blessing (Chicago)

Alright, I confess: I own nearly a hundred Santas. When I was growing up, my parents gave each of the children an ornament theme and, as you can probably guess, mine was Santa Claus. Every year since I was born, I have been given at least one in just about every material and shape you can imagine. (Basically, as long as he had a beard and a bit of red, he was Santa.)

My collection recently expanded to 98, thanks to several amazing ones my grandma (an avid amasser of Santas) gave me. In light of nearing the 100 mark, I’ve rounded up my top 10 favorites from the archives.


1. This vintage Santa sat atop our Christmas tree for my entire childhood—and also on top of my dad’s when he was little!


2. My husband brought me this minimal guy from Stockholm a few years ago.


3. A gift from my sister last year. I love his crazy felted beard.


4. This Santa was intricately hand stitched by my mom.


5. Another oldie from my grandma. (If you push the button under his stand, he actually bows and dances!)


6. Hello, painted-terra-cotta-cone Santa.


7. This porcelain Santa is made to look like origami.


8. Hand-painted gourd Santa from the Southwest.


9. Another one from Grandma. She loved the most unusual ones, like cinnamon stick Santas.


10.  I love how sparkly Santa is here—even his beard has bling.