Blog Advent Tour 2008 – Santa (and a Give-Away)


To see the full calendar, visit this post.

Marg and Kailana are the hosts of the Blog Advent Tour. Don’t miss all the great holiday posts from participating bloggers! Today’s tour hosts are:

Natasha from Maw Books
Somewhere in Between

And me!!


I remember waking before dawn on Christmas morning to the heavy weight of my filled Christmas stocking at the end of the bed. My sisters and I would gather together and dump out our goodies before racing downstairs to wake my parents. The magic of Santa made Christmas Eve one of anticipation and mystery.

The American version of Santa Claus arrived with settlers in the 17th century and received its inspiration from the Dutch legend of Sinterklaas. Illustrator Thomas Nast is credited with our vision of a plump Santa which he drew for issues of Harper’s magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s:

*Click on thumbnails to enlarge

In North American poetry and legend, Santa Claus takes to the sky on the night before Christmas in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. The idea of him climbing down chimneys to leave gifts inside stockings hung on the mantlepiece is beautifully rendered in Clement Clarke Moore’s poem TwasThe Night Before Christmas (alternatively known by the title: A Visit from St. Nicholas), first published in 1822.

Jan Brett is my favorite author and illustrator of children’s books. Her illustrations are colorful, lively and filled with woodland animals and beautiful children. She has written several books about Christmas and Santa including:

Christmas Treasury – a compilation of Brett’s favorite winter and Christmas tales including The Mitten, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Trouble with Trolls, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Hat, Christmas Trolls, and The Night Before Christmas.

The Night Before Christmas (a poem by Clement Moore) – the classic poem with amazing illustrations of Santa and his reindeer.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer – a story about a Scandanavian girl named Teeka who must ready the reindeer for their journey on Christmas Eve.

I have never lost my fascination for the legend of Santa Claus with his tradition of giving gifts on the Eve of Christmas. Over the years I have collected Santas which I proudly display at this time of year

I have a treasured collection of limited-edition Santas  by Woof & Poof (they also make other festive figures and stockings). Most of the Woof & Poof line is musical as well:

(**Click on all photos to enjoy a larger view)

woofpoof1 woofpoof100001

I love the detail as you can see in these close up views…the tiny bells and clock buttons for example.

woofpoof2 woofpoof50001 woofpoof4

I also have a small collection of Santa figures from a variety of sources. These two wooden balls are hand carved and painted with Santa features (by artist Bob Stebleton):

santa.Stebleton santa.stebleton2

And here are a couple more from my collection (including a cloth Santa made from an old quilt which a friend of mine sent me one Christmas):

santa1 santa2 santa3 santa4 santa5

So, what would be a post about Santa without a BOOK GIVE-AWAY!?!? And since Santa delivers around the world, this give-away is open INTERNATIONALLY. For those of you who would like the chance to win Jan Brett’s hard cover edition of The Wild Christmas Reindeer…please email me at bloggiveaway (at) aol (dot) com with the subject heading “SANTA“. I will accept emails until December 23rd at midnight and will draw a winner on Christmas Eve!

My wish for all of you is a joyous Christmas season…

I hope Santa is good to you this year!

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    • Louise on December 15, 2008 at 07:10

    Great and informative post about Santa. Here in Denmark he is called Father Christmas, and he doesn’t deliver into stockings through the chimney but arrives at Christmas Eve around the time the family has finished dancing around the tree. Then he barges into the living room ho-ho-hoing with his enormous sack of gifts….but he does arrive in a sleigh with reindeers and all that and he has the same look as your Santa Claus.

    And since you are doing an international giveaway, I’d love to sign up which is hereby done.

    • Jeane on December 15, 2008 at 07:35

    I was just going to run off and search for that Jan Brett book at the library, as my daughter and I love her illustrations. Thrilled that you’re doing a giveaway too!

    • Lisa on December 15, 2008 at 08:01

    Merry Christmas! I love those wooden balls, they aren’t like everything else you see.

    • Wendy on December 15, 2008 at 08:28

    Louise: I love hearing about Santa around the world – thanks for sharing! Make sure you send me an email to enter the give-away (the email address is at the end of the post!).

    Jeane: The illustrations in the Wild Christmas Reindeer are gorgeous! Good luck in the give away!

    Lisa: I found those wooden balls in Portland, Maine many years ago and have never seen anything like them again…I’d love to collect more, but I have no idea if the artist still makes them.

    • julia on December 15, 2008 at 08:47

    I also love Jan Brett. Gorgeous illustrations. And I’m a certified Christmas Maniac who tends to be drawn more to Father Christmas than Santa. But my mother-in-law is a big Santa fan and has an enormous Santa collection on her mantle.

  1. We’ve just been discussing the various origins of Santa here at work — what a great and informative post!

    • Marg on December 15, 2008 at 11:25

    Great post! Thanks so much for participating in the tour this year!

    I try and buy something new every year, and would totally get those wooden santas if I saw them somewhere!

    • kailana on December 15, 2008 at 12:23

    Great post! Thanks for joining in and sharing the pictures!

    • Darlene on December 15, 2008 at 12:25

    Great post. I love the Christmas decorations especially the Santa made from the quilt-it’s gorgeous. The wooden balls are really neat too-I’ve never seen anything like that before.

  2. Thanks for alerting me to more Jan Brett Christmas books. I sent an email!

    • Linda in Maine on December 15, 2008 at 17:09

    Wow! what a fantastic Santa collection, along with a great compendium of Santa legend. Christmas – gotta love it!

    Thanks for the chance to win that great book, I’m going to enter right now.

    • Melissa on December 16, 2008 at 12:43

    Jan Brett’s version of The Night Before Christmas is my favorite. 🙂 Thanks for the pictures. You have a great Santa collection.

    • ann on December 17, 2008 at 09:58

    I have drug out my collection of christmas books
    and fear that will be the end of rest of Christmas preparations. I also will enter give away. Love your collection!!

    • 3m on December 17, 2008 at 17:27

    Your figurines are beautiful, Wendy!

    • Vickie on December 18, 2008 at 14:37

    You have such a nice santa collection. Thanks for sharing.

    I am a little late on the Advent Tour. Playing catch up

    Happy Holidays

    • Kerrie on December 19, 2008 at 22:31

    lovely pictures Wendy. When we were kids we had a pillowcase hooked over the end of the bed for Santa to fill. It never occurred to us that our mother already knew what Santa had left!

    • Wendy on December 21, 2008 at 09:39

    Julia: I’d love to see your mom’s collection!

    Strumpet: Thanks…glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

    Marg: You’re welcome. I have searched for more of those wooden Santas, but so far have not found them again.

    Kailana: Thanks, it was fun!

    Darlene: The quilt Santa is one of my favorites. It is very old fashioned which is what I like the most.

    Callista: Thanks for joining the giveaway – good luck!

    Linda: Glad you enjoyed the post! And good luck in the giveaway!

    Melissa: I love that version too 🙂 And thank you!

    Ann: *laughs* I’m late decorating this year too. Good luck in the giveaway!

    Michelle: Thank you!

    Vickie: Thank you 🙂

    Kerrie: *laughs* I hung onto the fantasy of Santa for a long, long time!

  3. I love the pictures from your Santa collection. My mom collects them and I always enjoy seeing other Santas because it reminds me of her. I too have a fascination with the story of Santa. It’s still magical for me.

    • Kaye on December 22, 2008 at 10:13

    The cover to this book is gorgeous. This would make a wonderful gift to a very special granddaughter. You have a wonderful collection of Santas. I sent you the requisite e mail.

    • Wendy on December 22, 2008 at 17:05

    Caribookscoops: Thanks! I’d love to see your mother’s collection…and yes, the magic of Santa is what makes it so much fun.

    Kaye: Her art work is gorgeous….I’ll be going over to check my bloggiveaway email soon and will send you a confirmation that I received your entry 🙂 Good luck!

  4. What a pleasure to see that people are still enjoying our wooden Christmas balls. They were produced in the 1990’s through our company, “Stebleton Folk Art” of Woolwich, Maine. Each ball was individually created by Robert and myself in our workshop. There were a limited number of them produced so you have unique handmade Santas that won’t be in every Santa collection.

    Best regards, Dawn Stebleton

  5. Dawn…Wow, what a wonderful surprise that you stopped in and left me a comment. Your wooden Santa balls are my favorite pieces for my collection and I have many times wished I bought more of them! Thank you so much for dropping by 🙂

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