Collecting Santa Claus Figures – Which Santa to Collect?

St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Father Frost, Kris Kringle, Pere Noel, Ded Moroz, and Santa Claus to name a few. He may have many different names but he is globally known and loved by all young, and old alike. Yes, he visits once a year, but for some, his presence is felt year-round.

Did you know there are many more Santa Claus collectors than snowmen or angel collectors! There is even a Santa Claus museum, one in Santa Claus, INTexas Santa Claus museum has many rare and fragile Santa Claus figurines made from celluloid; a precursor to plastic material made between 1860s-1940s. This museum also has an extraordinary 1970s Santa made from Readers Digest magazines. and a Santa Claus museum in Texas. The

There are collectors of Santa figurines that keep their displays up all year-round, and why not, it certainly makes for a jovial home when there is a Santa Claus or two smiling at you every time you walk into the room.  Some collectors display their Santa’s according to a particular theme like “Patriotic Santa” where the entire Santa’s are dressed in variations of red, white, and blue and wave little USA flags.

I simply adore the hand carved and hand painted Russian Santa figurines from Russia. An artist that hand carves the figurine from Linden wood then hand paints gorgeous scenes on the figure makes these Santa’s. During the harsh Russian winters, Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden, drive his sleigh from deep within the forests to deliver gifts to the Russian people. Designs on these Santa’s can be so detailed with full painted scenes of children gathered around Christmas trees and Troika – 3 horses pulling a sleigh. Russian wooden Santa’s can range in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Great site here for Russian Santas.

Another type of collectible Santa Claus figurine is Belsnickel. A Belsnickel is the fur-clad Santa or Old-World Santa that originated in northwestern Germany along the Rhine. In the 19th century the Belsnickel Santa was not a jolly roly-poly Santa we know today but rather a character that frightened the community. Belsnickel brought goodies for well-behaved girls and boys, and carried a whip and sticks to punish the naughty. Customs varied from community to community, but the enormous role of Belsnickel played in Christmas celebrations is evidenced by the many cookie cutters, chocolate molds, dolls, papier-mâché figurines, scrapbook cut outs, and postcards that survive from the era.

The 1950s-1960s Spaghetti Santa Claus figurines are desired today. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of the good old days these vintage Santa’s bring to those that collect them. Most of these Santa’s were imported from Japan by companies like Lefton, Irice, Napco, Holt Howard and Inarco to name a few and were painted with bright colors and shiny glazes. These vintage figurines can be bought today for $9.99 – $50.00 and really are charming!

There are literally hundreds of companies and artisans who make Santa Claus figures and collectibles today. Radko, Jurt Adler, Jim Shore, Norman Rockwell, Dept.56, Bavarian Heritage, Lenox, Fitz and Floyd, Disney, etc.. And it would be impossible to mention them all. Also, there are many types of Santa Claus collectibles from Santa Claus Ornaments, Santa Claus Candy boxes, Papier Mache Santa Claus’s, Santa Claus Salt and Pepper Shakers, Santa Claus Tablecloths, Santa Claus Brooches, etc… Also, there are the Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus items too but, that is for another article.

Hope this article opens the doors to many more Santa Claus collectors as why wouldn’t you want to start or add to a Santa collection when it can help keep that special holiday spirit alive throughout the year.