Our family had one little Santa when I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s. He isn’t visible in this photo, but he is there. He is kind of star-shaped with red flocking on his suit. I love him.
On a work trip, I found the Santa Express train (in the front of the window near the center). Then found another and another. As with any collection, once people find out you collect, that is what they buy you. I built up my collection with gifts, junk and antique store finds and of course eBay. Once one of the large Santas was delivered to by our mailman. “Is this a body?” he asked when having me sign for the coffin-sized package. He got a laugh when I opened it up to show him. Once I was riding a train back after buying a medium-sized one and plugged it in and got a couple of waves from passengers on platforms.
Anyway, more than 70 Santas later, it’s fun and now not an affordable hobby. When I was into my heavy acquisition phase, I was paying anywhere from $1 to $35 for each. Now they are all going for some big bucks.
They rest in our extra-large attic for 11 months a year and then have a bright and festive December. This year they broke out of the house and are entertaining my fellow Fort Bragg citizens and visitors to our little town. They are in an empty storefront in our main shopping district. If you are in town before the first of 2021, stop by 330 N Franklin and say HI!