Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!!

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

~I didn’t set out to be a Santa collector. It just happened. Mostly because my daughter enjoys finding neat Santas and giving them to me for Christmas. More than half of my Santas have been gifts from her and her husband. It all started many years ago when all the kids were still living at home, none even thinking about getting married. This lady who worked with Darrell made the plump little Santa in the middle or at least painted it for him for Christmas. You might not be able to tell in this picture, but Santa’s making a list. In the beginning when Santa was new, that list was five names – mine and Darrell’s and the kids. Since then Santa has filled up his list – writing names all down the front and back of that list as our family has grown to include two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, and nine grandchildren. Along with all those names, Santa has gotten plenty of company on his shelf – Santas of all descriptions. A sleeping Santa. A skiing Santa. Even a UK Santa! There are a few more Santas spread around the room. One’s a music box/snow globe combination. Another jiggles and bounces when you touch him, and another is a cookie jar. That’s the new one this year. My daughter gave it to me at Thanksgiving.
~It’s fun to collect things. Your family likes it because it gives them gift potential. When I was a young girl, I wanted to collect something. My sisters both had some sort of collection, and I felt like I needed to collect something, too. But I could never settle on what. I tried salt and pepper shakers. Then I did souvenir cups and saucers. I’d get two or three of whatever and then couldn’t seem to get more. So I’d try something else. Wish I’d collected silver dollars now. I’d probably only been able to get two or three of those too.
~ But maybe what I did collect turned out to be more valuable for me than those silver dollars could have ever been. Stories. That’s what I collected. The ones I read and the ones I wrote. All great training for a girl who never wanted to be anything other than a writer.
~And if you could see my bookshelves right now, you’d know that while I may have some Santas, I collect books. Along with a little dust. 😉 I talked to a man once at a book signing who claimed all his cabinets were full of books instead of food. I’m not quite that committed a collector. I like having food in my cabinets, but a stack of books here and there adds personality to a house. Along with the promise of hours of entertainment.
~Then of course there are the boxes of books in my closets and basements with my own by-line. I don’t think I can have too many of those books. The more the merrier.
~And the same with my Santas. It’s fun to set them out every year and remember where I got this or that one. I had an older sister so I didn’t get to play the Santa Christmas game very long as a child. She shared her superior wisdom with me when I was five. So maybe I’m still trying to recapture some of that magic and fun. Of course with the grandkids, Christmas can’t help but be fun. Hectic and a little noisy, but fun.
~Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten the true reason for the season – the greatest gift, Jesus. We’ll be celebrating His birth on Sunday at church with special services, but I’d really like to know the spirit of Christmas every day of the year. May you collect much Christmas joy in the days ahead. Joy and love – now those are some real collectables.
~~P.S. By the way, I think the puppy is going to be a Lucy.