Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santas, Santas everywhere!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Prize Winner Last week I blogged about my Christmas tree and how I loved some special ornaments.  Several readers asked me to show pictures of the Santas my Dad carved.

Backstory:  My Dad did most of his carving back in the 1990s.  He even won a prize for one of his Santas which, unbeknownst to him, had been entered in a carving contest in Beria, KY by his former carving buddy.  Dad's Santa won first prize!  (He carved one just like it for me, too--you can see it on the right.)

I don't know why he carved so many of these little tree ornaments--bored, I guess.  But he did. The little guys below are the original 20 I've been hanging on my tree for the past 10-15 years.

Original Santas

The one in the top right hand corner is one I asked him to make.  You see, I bought something similar at a yard sale for a quarter, and I wasn't sure where it was made or by whom.  Someone in China?  Some craftsman (or woman) here in the states?  It was real, hand carved and painted, but it didn't hold any meaning for me.  So I asked Dad to make one for me and it would be special because HE carved it.  He did, and it was.  (Look at the detail on it below.)

Carved from

After my Dad passed away in the fall of 2009, I found quite a number of carvings he hadn't finished, and bunch that he had but just never got around to giving away.  They're mine now!

13 new santas
I love the fact that, while they may look alike, they're all actually quite unique.  Look at the eyes and noses on these little guys, and how different their beards look.

5 santas

I always looked forward to Christmas and getting something wonderful my Dad would make, be it a carving or a lovely piece of furniture.  I'm so sad that'll never happen again, but I have so many wonderful items that he made -- and he always made them with love.

How about you--what do you have that is terribly special because someone made it for you with love in their heart?


Dru said...

Your father did beautiful work. I have a knitted blanket that a friend made for me. I know the care she took because every slipped stitch, every crooked row, she undid to make it perfect.

jbstanley said...

These are wonderful! What a treasure to take out each year!

I have a ring my grandfather had designed for me. More precious than the ring is the note he wrote to go with it. Just to see his handwriting keeps his loving face fresh in my memory.

Laineshots said...

How absolutely wonderful! I love the details of the faces. As you said, the Santas look alike--but the faces make them truly unique. What a treasure!

I have a book of handwritten family recipes that my biological brother spent several months putting together for me--recipes from the mother and the family I never knew I had. He was traveling at the time, and scribbled recipes whenever he had a few minutes, some on planes. Some show that he fell asleep while writing! It's my greatest tangible treasure.

Unknown said...

JB, I have the last Christmas card my Grandad sent me and every year I take it out and hang it with the news cards that come in. It helps to keep him alive in my mind.

Laine, what a wonderful gift your brother gave you.

Booklady said...

Lorna - the Santas are beautiful. And I love hearing about everyone's treasures. I have several things my boys made for me as they were growing up, but I have to admit that currently my favorite treasure is something store bought. Last year while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan (I'm so thankful he's home with us this year), I was the one who had to take my youngest son to and from Scouting activities. I drove him around while went door to door selling popcorn. He was I think the 2nd top seller. He won an American Express gift card. Now my youngster doesn't mind working to earn money and he likes to spend it on himself, but he's also very generous. He took his entire gift card and had the neighbor who was home from college drive him to the mall so he could buy me one of Jane Seymour's open heart necklaces. He said I needed that and that Dad would have bought it for me if he hadn't been deployed, so he bought it for me instead. It's not handmade, but it's filled with just as much love as the clay figures and construction paper flowers he's made for me over the years - maybe even more.

Aurian said...

I love those Santa's! I still have the scarve my grandmother knitted for me when I was 8 or so. I use it every year, the whole winter long. Even when a different color would be better with my coat.

Mandy said...

Your santas are lovely! Your dad had a wonderful talent, and how blessed you are to be able to enjoy them now!

My grandmother is still living, but living with Alzheimers so she's really not herself any longer. Years ago, she loved to crochet and made these great snowflakes that I put up each year in different windows for everyone to enjoy.

Miki Willa said...

Your father's Santas are wonderful. I love the different facial expressions on each one. How fun it must be each year to get them out and look at them as you hang them. A great treasure.
I have quite a few treasured gifts fro over the years, but I think my favorite is the quilt my sister-in-law made for me. It was a big surprise and I really love it.

signlady217 said...

I have a quilt, a crocheted afghan and a crossstitched picture that were all wedding gifts from friends and family. I also have a small wooden box with my grandmother's initials on it that grandpa made while in rehab at the veterans' hospital back during WWII.

My father-in-law is a woodworker, too, and we all have clocks, bowls and other items he has made over the years.

Linda McDonald said...

Those Santas are beautiful. I love all the little details. How special for you to have them, knowing that it was your dad's hands that carved them. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Vickie said...

I have a wooden rocking horse my dad made for my daughter and I keep and treasure all of the decorations and drawings Lady K creates for me.

BookEnds, A Literary Agency said...

Oh!! I LOVE your Santas. so cool. I have a few from a great uncle, but your heads are really neat.


stuckinmypedals said...

I popped over from TLC today. Your Santas are beautiful. This year I put out the nativity set that my grandmother bought on a trip to Bethlehem, It is carved from olive wood. She passed away earlier this year and I love having something that travelled such a long way with my grandmother and is now with me this Christmas.

Anonymous said...

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