Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa Claws And Other Creepy Ornaments of Christmas

I have a Santa-themed Christmas tree. Years ago, I mentioned to my mother that I was thinking about collecting Santa ornaments, and that’s all it took. Every year since then, I have found a new Santa ornament tied onto my Christmas present. Our Santa tree isn’t especially beautiful. When you look at it, you definitely don’t think “department store tree” or anything like that. But it’s not your typical let’s-throw-every-ornament-we’ve-ever-owned-on-it kind of tree, either. I actually really like that kind of tree a lot. With lots of big, colored lights and individual strands of shiny silver icicles. It would be topped with an angel or a star that some kid had made back in the 1940’s. I haven’t actually seen a tree like that in years. That’s the kind of tree that inspires that magical Christmas feeling of childhood, if you ask me.

But somewhere back in the 1980’s or so, beautiful trees became the fashion. I admit that I was caught up in trying to achieve a certain designer-floor-model look throughout the early years of my marriage, but finally concluded that it wasn't my thing. I just don’t have that type of creativity. That’s when I thought of collecting Santa ornaments. And my mother started buying them and sending them to me on my presents. Thanks to her, I have quite a large collection. When you look at our tree as a whole, it’s quite pleasant to behold. I do have some ornaments on it that aren’t Santas, but I mainly stick to red, white, gold and silver. I have several angels that I place high up around the top where, being less secular than Santa, they can be a little closer to Heaven. We have little wooden sleds with our names on them that we painted as a family one year. And there are the Lillian Vernon crocheted snowflakes I bought one year back when I was still attempting to create a beautiful tree. I think they work on this tree. I’d say it’s a passably pretty tree.

Until you get up close.

When you get up close and really start looking, you’ll see several Santa specimens that can only be described as unique.

Or ugly.

Or scary.

Probably the strangest one is the one I call Santa Claw. It’s handcrafted out of an actual lobster claw. Creepy, huh? It gives a whole new feel to the lyrics “You better watch out, you better not cry…”

I also have a Santa Gourd. Santa’s face is hand-painted on a dried gourd.

There’s Santa Star Fish, which actually looks pretty cute until you start thinking about it.

And Santa Milk Weed Pod.

How about Santa Cape?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with New England geography, it’s the shoreline of Cape Cod, where my mother found and purchased these Yuletide treasures. There are some very creative artisans on Cape Cod, and they are represented on my Christmas tree.

 I’ll bet everyone I know from New England has a Santa Claw ornament.

If you have one of those family friendly, colored-lights-and-tinsel trees, with ornaments the kids made in elementary school, maybe a chain with links made out of construction paper, and a foil-covered star on top, call me. I’ll come right over and enjoy the nostalgia. And you can come over to our house and I’ll introduce you to Santa Claw. Just remember, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…”

I hope your Christmas isn’t quite as creepy as ours!

1 comment:

  1. Well then you have an invitation to stop by anytime to see my tree! It is one of those "only a parent" would love trees with colored lights. I have mostly children made ornaments although I must admit there are few that I made. Can't get Bob to actually make anything worthy of a hook! I have had to hold off on the tinsel now that we have a 4 legged family member but I talk about putting it on every year until Kate reminds me that it will look horrible with tinsel only on the top branches! I must admit, no Santa Claw but I do have a Santa star fish and a Santa sand dollar and a Santa scallop shell. . . Merry Christmas